Deadline looming for investigative journalism places

THE deadline is looming for applications to an on-the-job training initiative in investigative journalism, with two Scots independent TV production companies providing placements.

The scheme – being run by Channel 4 and with its investigations series, Dispatches, in mind – is seeking to fill 20 six-to-12 month contracts over a two-year period.

The two Scots indies are Firecrest and Matchlight. Six indies in total throughout the UK are involved.

The scheme will be open to researchers and assistant producers in television with at least two years’ experience who are ready to move on to the next stage of their career, and to junior producers who are new to producing.

Also invited to apply are journalists outside television, either in the newspaper, radio or online worlds, who – says Channel 4 – “have demonstrated strong journalistic ability and commitment, and feel that they are ready to move into television”.

And the deadline for applications is a week on Friday.

A Channel 4 spokesperson told “The training programme will also include week-long in-house training courses, mentoring, regular master-classes and digital training at Channel 4. The scheme will increase the pool of talent to ensure greater diversity of supply in the long-term – providing fresh new ideas, angles and stories and as well as training in the fundamentals. It will also train journalists for a converged world, ensuring they know how best to utilise and interact with new technology and social media.”

Nicole Kleeman, executive producer at Firecrest also told “We’re really excited to be part of this unique scheme. It is a big investment by Channel 4 and a significant commitment to developing talent in Scotland.”

Glasgow-based Firecrest Films works very closely with Channel 4 News.

Added Ross Wilson, creative director at Matchlight: “Matchlight has had a commitment to training from the outset. We’ve worked with Channel 4 previously on our Documentary Internship programme and the 4Talent Production Trainee scheme. The Investigative Journalism Training Scheme will build on our strong track record in current affairs television and, we hope, enable us both to find and develop an exciting new journalistic filmmaker. It’s a great opportunity for us, for the new trainee and for Channel 4.”