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Students win Evening Standard journalism scholarships

Sian Bayley and Ellie O’Donnell won a national competition backed by the London Evening Standard


Two students from underprivileged backgrounds will study investigative journalism at City, University of London after winning funding in a nationwide scholarship competition.

Sian Bayley, from Orpington, secured a £12,500 scholarship, which will cover course fees for the MA Investigative Journalism programme and contribute to living expenses. Ellie O’Donnell, from London, will receive £8,000 towards her tuition.

Sian said: “Nowadays it is almost essential to have a qualification in journalism if you want to pursue it as a career, but I simply would not have been able to afford it without this award.”

The Quadrature-Evening Standard Scholarship for Investigative Journalism offers Sian a series of work placements at the London Evening Standard or The Independent during the one-year MA course, which starts on 25th September 2017, followed by a 12-month paid traineeship with one of the publications upon graduation.

Doug Wills, managing editor of the London Evening Standard and The Independent, said: “It is so vital in these challenging times when serious journalism has never been more important that there are opportunities for the best and most committed to receive quality training. We are proud to be a partner in this innovative scholarship scheme and are grateful for the generosity of the sponsors and support of City, University of London.”

Course leader Professor Heather Brooke said: “We want to ensure in-depth civic reporting survives and thrives by passing on professional skills to the next generation of journalists and be able to draw from a diverse pool of students from all backgrounds. This unique partnership means that for two young people their dream of becoming an investigative journalist is now a reality."

A 'life-changing opportunity'

The full funding won by Sian is worth £10,000 (contributed by Quadrature Capital), plus £2,500 living expenses (contributed by City, University of London). Quadrature decided to offer additional funding to Ellie O'Donnell after being impressed with her application.

Ellie said: "The extra funding that I am receiving means I can afford high-quality training that previously, due to costs, was unreachable. It will allow me to follow my ambition to become an investigative journalist and uncover inequalities, abuses of power and injustices in our society.

"I think it is great that Quadrature/Evening Standard are supporting those with financial need through the Investigative Journalism MA and I am so grateful and honoured to be chosen as a recipient.”

The scholarship was launched in 2017 to provide a springboard for an aspiring journalist from an underprivileged background who would not be able to complete the course without financial assistance.

Sian added: “I managed to get through my undergraduate degree with the help of a maintenance grant and generous bursaries, but feared I would not be able to continue with my education at postgraduate level where funding is notoriously scarce.

“This scholarship is a life-changing opportunity that will help me develop my skills as a journalist and break into the industry.”

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