Think you’ve got what it takes
to break into the media industry?
Free training and opportunities for young people
2023 summer academy application now open
This is far and away one of the best things I’ve been involved in – it’s fun but intelligent, inspiring yet rigorous.
Richard Lawson, Broadcast Journalist, BBC
The Young Journalists’ Academy (YJA) is a unique programme for young people from state school backgrounds. We aim to inspire and train the newsmakers of tomorrow. In partnership with some of the world’s leading media organisations, the YJA gives aspiring journalists the skills and the contacts they need to kick-start their careers in the media.
Our next opportunity is our Young Journalists’ Academy (YJA) summer academy.
The summer academy will take place from Saturday, 12th August to Saturday 19th August 2023 in central London. Please make sure you are available for the whole week before applying.
“Absolutely loved the summer academy. Thank you for all the opportunities, advise and introductions to journalists. Definitely one of the best experiences of my life!”
– Sam, 19-years old
The YJA provides an unmissable opportunity for anyone who wants to be a journalist, but doesn’t have any way in.
Elias Hirst, 17, Tower Hamlets
YJA summer academy
To give you a flavour of our summer academy’s jam-packed week, you will:
- Meet and interview journalists and editors
- Create podcasts and videos
- Lean how to write great opinion pieces
- Report live news
- Review the latest books, films, TV and music
Journalists are hard to make contact with. Being able to talk to them, get advice and network is amazing, and the YJA is with you every step of the way.
Bradley O'Connor, 18, Newham
There was an eagerness, an enthusiasm, a thirst for knowledge, that made speaking to the group an honour.
And the young people were rewarded with a great agenda.
What a fabulous project this is!
Daniel Finkelstein, OBE, political columnist, The Times
Simran completed a week’s work experience in the book cover design department at HarperCollins Publishers.
Tell us about your work experience week.
My week in the book cover design department at HarperCollins fiction was amazing.
I shadowed and worked with designers and editors as they showed me what it takes to create covers for paperbacks, hardbacks and and even audiobooks. I even got the chance to work on designs for crime novels, teen fiction, fantasy and mythical stories. Holly, the Deputy Art Director, said that one design I was working on for an audiobook cover she could actually see becoming the real cover! I just thought ‘wow!’ I was so shocked.
What was the best thing about the week?
I can’t believe how deeply I got to work within a department at a huge publishing house, working on actual books that are coming out and being trusted to see titles and designs before anyone else has! I have never heard of anyone else who has had a work experience like this.
What about the worst thing?
There is only one bad thing about the week, that it had to end. It was over too quickly!
I took my first steps into journalism with the Young Journalists’ Academy. Before, I had never met a journalist or had my writing critiqued by anyone other than my mother.
The YJA taught me to understand the rigours of a modern newsroom, from coming up with original ideas to writing well under pressure.
After the YJA summer school, I knew I wanted a career in journalism. Fast forward a few years, now with an English degree and countless training and work-experience opportunities with the YJA, I became the first ever paid apprentice at The Sunday Times. I’m now a news correspondent at Sky News.
Shingi has recently joined the Young Academies Group as a charity trustee.
Taking part in the summer school gave me a great insight into the world of journalism and allowed me to learn from some of the best in the business. Since then, I’ve worked in journalism, public relations and communications.
After the YJA, I then worked at the YJA for a year before joining a global Public Relations agency as a content writer, writing bylines for various clients. After working in PR, I completed a Masters at the London School of Economics and have since been working in the Corporate Communications team at Dow Jones, supporting on internal comms and communications for the CEO.
Elsa is a charity trustee.
Thank you very much to YJA for coming to Google. I'm honoured to have been invited to take part in such an important project, and it was wonderful to meet such enthusiastic students. Based on their insightful questions about data journalism, I'm sure they all have a bright future ahead of them!
Clara Guibourg, data journalist at Google News Lab
I’d like to think as a child I always had a wild imagination; living in Nigeria without always having sufficient means to entertain myself, my siblings and I often had to find other ways. We were obsessed with Enid Blyton books and as I continued to read the different tales she’d spin, my need to create a story like hers had only deepened.
After the YJA summer school, I shadowed a radio producer and developed skills in a work experience scheme with Tremr, a social blogging site, I am incredibly keen on expanding my experience and gaining as much knowledge as I can.
I’m still 18 years old, so I have a long path ahead of me, but the more advice and knowledge I get, the more I’m ready to find my own path into journalism and uncover the route I’d like to go down.
I read books like I read the news: to be informed, inspired and made uncomfortable. I read about Israeli occupation while reading All the Presidents Men; I read about Time’s Up while reading Lolita and I read about Yemen while reading Malcolm X’s autobiography.
To me, journalism and literature are interchangeable with the same skills; to ask questions, to target an audience and to have a good eye for a story, and the Young Journalist Academy has taught me those skills and much more.
The academy has shown me the benefit of being open-minded and the necessity of being prepared to do anything, allowing me to explore my interests while expanding my skills and capability.
Listening to my father’s accounts of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 in India, I learned that the best stories and narratives let you experience a world different to your own.
I see journalism – like fiction – as a form of story-telling and in an effort to make and break more stories, I became one of twenty young Londoners to win a place at the coveted Young Journalists’ Academy in 2016.
I have always loved writing and I have had my short stories and poetry published in several Young Writers’ publications. Now, I run an online blog with friends and have had several bylines in my local newspaper, The Hackney Citizen and Get Surrey, on a work experience placement the YJA secured.
The academy prepared me for the journalism industry like nothing else. I was thrown in the deep end, challenged to find, write and edit stories and taught how to make the most of opportunities within the news industry. After taking part in the summer school, I went on to do work experience placements at The Times and Sunday Times, eventually working as a night reporter for the latter.
Last year, I started at the Times as a graduate trainee reporter. So far, I have worked on the Business and Digital desks, and am currently reporting on Scotland before heading back to London to report on home news.
I am a young, Egyptian man with hopes of stretching the minds of the reader or viewer. Pushing their thinking to another level by presenting different perspectives and opinions, is something I wish to perfect.
Since the YJA, I’ve been studying hard to get into Oxford. I’ve also worked for WORLDbytes, an online tv channel, where I co-produced and presented a documentary on public toilets in London and scored an interview with Arsenal FC. I shot and edited a short Christmas-themed vox-pop that featured on The Sun’s video Facebook page.
I have always been interested in Journalism, both in the traditional form of writing and the modern form of film, and the YJA made me aware of my ability and is helping me develop my talent.
I love a great story. Orwell’s 1984 is my favourite, and inspires me to pursue journalism so that I can dig for the truth.
The Young Journalists’ Academy has taken my love of story-telling and applied it to the world of journalism. I now edit an online student blog ‘Twenty Minutes Till Bedtime.’
I believe some of the best stories come from discovering obscured truths of the past, so I volunteer in museums across London and create historical video documentaries with the BBC.
The most important tale I take from 1984 is that the powerful can shape perceptions in society – it is up to us to find and report the truth.