Media Trust in partnership ITV News has today announced the finalists for ‘Breaking Into News’ a nationwide initiative to discover up and coming local journalists. Mariah Sharp, a student at the University of Bedfordshire has been named the regional finalist for ITV Anglia.

Fronted by ITV’s award-winning news broadcaster Charlene White and Russell Hookey for ITV Anglia, ‘Breaking Into News’, continues to address the importance to improve representation and diversity across the broadcast journalism industry. ITV News encouraged applications from across the UK, with little or no previous media experience, attracting a wider wealth of promising local talent. 

Under the professional mentoring of Russell  Hookey for ITV Anglia, Mariah is now in the process of creating a TV news report on Autism-Friendly Workplaces for ITV Anglia.

Mariah said: “I can’t believe I have reached the final of this competition! I’m so thankful to everyone at Media Trust and ITV News for giving me this opportunity, I never thought I would have been chosen. I heard about the competition from my Auntie who saw it on the News and I thought this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t miss and she was right. I come from a radio background but joined the competition to see what the broadcast journalism side of the industry is like and further my skills.I’ve been volunteering as a reporter in my community for some time now and I am excited to take my career to the next level and hopefully get the chance to continue to report on the issues that affect our society.”

Su-Mei Thompson CEO of Media Trust, said: “Our Breaking into News programme offers people with little to no experience in journalism the chance to share stories about their regions and the help kick-start their careers in news. We are excited to be a part in developing the next generation of broadcast journalists!”

Along with nine other finalists from ITV news regions across the UK, Mariah will present her final news report to a panel of influential judges including Roohi Hasan (ITV News, Senior News Producer), Kate Watkins Tutor (Head of TV News Training, School of Media and Communication, Leeds University), Margaret Emsley (Head of News at ITV Calendar) and Jasmine Dotiwala (Head of Youth Engagement at Media Trust).

ITV Mentor Russell  Hookey for ITV Anglia says, “Breaking into news is a unique opportunity for anyone to fulfil their ambition to get involved in television journalism. Last year Steven Portman deservedly came runner up in the competition after working with ITV News Anglia and the reaction to his story on disability was very positive. Mariah’s passion was obvious when she outlined her story idea which aims to provide an insight into the opportunities available to people with autism and the challenges they might face. It’s the 3rd year I’ve mentored on the Breaking Into News scheme and I’m looking forward to helping Mariah make her ideas a reality”.

One lucky finalist will be selected and will be awarded £400 worth of journalistic equipment and the chance to have their local news report aired on ITV.

About Media Trust: Media Trust believes in the power of the media to change lives. As a charity, we work in partnership with the creative and media industry to give marginalized groups a stronger voice. We do this by promoting skills-based volunteering, empowering young people from diverse backgrounds to work in media and encouraging constructive dialogue and collaboration with the media sector.

By bridging the gap between the media and creative industries and charities & under-represented communities we are contributing to a more responsible, representative and connected media sector and ultimately, a more socially cohesive Britain.

Our media industry partners include: A+E Networks, adam&eveDDB, AMV BBDO, Ascential, BBC, BBH, Bloomberg, BT, Camelot, Channel 4, Clear Channel, Dentsu Aegis Network, Discovery Networks Europe, dmg media, Edelman, Facebook, Google, GroupM, Guardian Media Group, Hearst Magazines UK, IPG Mediabrands, ITN, ITV, Mediacom, Mindshare, m/SIX, McCann, Next15, Pearl&Dean, Posterscope, Primesight, Oath, Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sky, Spotify, Starcom, Talon Outdoor, Telegraph Media Group, Time Warner, Twitter, Viacom International Media Networks, Virgin Media, The Walt Disney Company UK & Ireland, Wavemaker, Weber Shandwick and WPP

About ITV News:

ITV News produces the most-watched commercial television news programming in the UK. Its national bulletins are broadcast on weekdays at 1.30, 6.30 and 10pm, with regional bulletins during Good Morning Britain and at 1:50, 6.00 and 10.30pm. In recent years ITV News has won an International Emmy, BAFTAs, and Royal Television Society awards for its coverage, with its flagship programme ITV News at Ten named RTS Programme of the Year. ITV News is a multi-platform news operation, breaking news stories and encouraging viewer interaction on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and at a dedicated multi-media news.