Google News Initiative-UCLan Journalism Innovation and Leadership (JIL) Programme 2023 for African news media professionals. (Scholarships Available)

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Application Deadline: 15 November 2022

The University of Central Lancashire’s flagship Journalism Innovation and Leadership (JIL) Programme is supported by the Google News Initiative (GNI) on both continents, offers a 30-week part-time, postgraduate certificate and a two-year masters of arts course that have been co-designed by a team of practise-led academics and innovative industry leaders to foster the next generation of diverse news media leaders.

Since its UK launch in 2020, media professionals from 10 countries have participated in the distance-learning JIL Programme and have been invited to attend intensive learning blocks in Preston. Now, for the first time, the programme will launch in Sub-Saharan Africa next January alongside the UK-based programme.

The programmes will run concurrently and be taught entirely online to make the course more accessible, with the option of attending two intensive learning blocks in person or online – one will be in Preston and the other in Cape Town.


  • A strong interest in the challenges facing journalism and its leaders as evident in a 250-word statement that describes your daily duties, the relevance of the programme to your career, your goals for the course and how you will apply the learning in context .
    • Typically, an undergraduate degree in journalism or a related media subject, at 2:1 or above. Or evidence of substantial professional journalism/media industry experience (normally five years).
    • Appropriate computer literacy and internet access.
    • International applicants are required to have an IELTS score of 7 or equivalent.
    Applicants will be interviewed and asked to provide a detailed CV as part of their application for the course.


  • Thanks to ongoing support from the GNI, in 2023, 30 scholarships are available, of which 15 places are reserved explicitly for participants from Sub-Saharan Africa. These participants are also eligible for travel grants to enable them to join the intensive learning block in Cape Town in the northern-hemisphere Autumn, which is open to all students.
  • The GNI also helps to facilitate the industry mentoring programme by offering key network connections and providing access to a pioneering approach and practice across the news industry.


The Google News Initiative (GNI) and International and Media Support (IMS) are funding tuition scholarships to support participation in the one-year part-time, distance-learning, post-graduate certificate programme. .
There are two award categories:
• GNI are supporting 30 postgraduate certificate scholarships (one year, part time) to assist the next generation of diverse news media leaders worldwide, particularly those working in UK newsrooms and across Sub-Saharan Africa. Participants from Africa can also apply for a travel grant to support attending one of the two optional study blocks face-to-face.
• IMS are supporting grantees and partners of IMS, which is an international, Denmark-based organisation that works with media in countries affected by armed conflict, human insecurity and political transition.
Scholarship applications, which should only be made after applying to the course, are available from the course leader Dr François Nel at [email protected]
Scholarship application deadline: 30 October. Those shortlisted will be invited to an online interview with decisions expected to be made by 15 November.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the UCLan Journalism Innovation and Leadership (JIL) Programme 2023

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