Doug Specht and Winston Mano Speak at the Launch of the CJA’s Expanded Mentoring Scheme

19 December 2023

After a successful pilot scheme in 2023, the Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) was, on the 29th of November, at the University of Westminster to launch an expanded mentoring programme to support young journalists again in 2024.  CAMRI’s Doug Specht and Winston Mano were invited to talk at the launch of the scheme that offers young journalists or students, hoping to break into journalism, chance to be mentored by an experienced journalist or media specialist for six months. Specht gave a brief overview of the University of Westminster’s journalism courses, invited them to talk with our friendly staff about joining the courses and welcomed the mentees to visit our state-of-the-art facilities. Mano reminded the mentees about the huge role played by journalism in society saying that it should be out of interest for the profession rather than for fame or money.

The primary objective of the CJA’s expanded mentoring programme is to help the mentees take the next steps in their career. The next round of the CJA mentoring scheme will start in early 2024 following an application process. Raymond Whitaker, the current Chair of CJA explained that the launch came after young journalists “expressed interest in receiving further help and guidance in their careers at our CJA Journalism Conference 2022, which we held in Birmingham just ahead of the Commonwealth Games”. The BBC, The Guardian, London Evening Standard, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Observer, Channel 4, The Mirror and Metro are among the publications and broadcasters that the mentors from the 2023 cohort have worked for. In 2024, the scheme will have additional mentors “as well as welcoming some new faces who are eager to support young people”.  The overall goals and aims of the sessions include helping the mentee practice with interviews and presentations and to develop industry-specific skills and general professional skills where appropriate.

The Commonwealth Journalism Association programme is now giving young people the opportunity to be mentored by an expert in the journalism and media industry for a second year running. Those who would like to apply for the CJA mentoring scheme 2023, please check the website for the online application form.  Applicants must be 18 or over to apply, and residents of the UK. Although CJA wants to support as many people, there are limited places available on this scheme. Applications are currently open until 23 December 2023, but could close earlier. After reviewing, successful applicants will be contacted in early 2024.

Please note that any successful applicant must pay £10 for an annual membership of the CJA if they want to take up their place on the scheme. One does not need to do this until they have been told you that they have been successful, although if you would like to become a member regardless, you can do so by getting in touch via our website. Those who want to apply for the mentoring scheme but have concerns about paying the membership, please get in touch by emailing Janette Daramy on  Please also get in touch with Janette if you have any questions, or if you need any assistance with the application form.

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