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#DiversifyTheMedia – PressPad Crowdfunder

by PressPad in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th December 2019 we successfully raised £45,262 with 750 supporters in 47 days

The media has a problem. It’s becoming increasingly elite. This is your chance to help us diversify it.

by PressPad in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We want to go on the road so we can tell many more students and young people about what we do and ensure we reach those most in need of our help. If we reach our stretch target, the money will go towards the roadshow we are organising across the country. We will be delivering workshops to students about how to get into the media while also telling them all about how PressPad can help them. Any extra cash will go straight into our bursary fund to help us provide hosting for those from low socio-economic backgrounds!

Why is it important?

Getting a job in journalism can be really hard, especially when you’re expected to do internships and work placements. Most of them are either unpaid or really badly paid, and the best and most competitive ones are in London – a famously expensive city.

The Sutton Trust estimates that it costs a young person more than £1,000 to do a month of unpaid work experience in the capital. This prices out talented people from diverse backgrounds who simply can’t afford to get their foot in the door.

Only 11% of journalists come from a working class background. More than half of the country’s top journos went to private schools and 94% of journalists in the UK are white.

This is important. Not only does the situation mean our media is being run by a narrow section of society, which is unfair when there is so much talent out there but crucially, when journalists don't reflect the demographic and economic diversity within their communities, and society at large, we lose their trust. Not a single national paper predicted how Brexit would go and we believe this is one of the reasons why. 

What’s the solution?

PressPad is an award-winning social enterprise that is fighting to lower the financial barrier of entry into journalism. We link young people with work experience in London with experienced journalists who can offer a spare room plus great advice. We also add them to our intern networks so they can learn from each other. It's mentoring, networking and accommodation all rolled into one.

We started PressPad to make internships and work experience more affordable to those living outside of expensive cities – initially London – and from lower socio-economic backgrounds. There are lots of very admirable mentorship schemes for people of colour, women, and those with disabilities but we believe that the true barrier – and one that affects many applicants classed as “diverse” – is financial.

Since we set up the pilot last year, we've already placed 50 interns with senior journalists who have a spare room and we receive new requests every single day. Our interns have an average age of 24 years old and 93% of them are completing an unpaid internship. Their success stories are our biggest achievement: they make everything worth it.

We also have journalist hosts signed up to our platform ranging from editors-in-chief to correspondents, from the Financial Times to the BBC to HELLO! magazine. In fact, we have the capacity to help double the amount of interns, which is where this crowdfunder comes in. 

Why are we crowdfunding?

We hear from people all the time who would love to help but don’t have the space available to host an aspiring journalist or those who aren’t journalists but want and expect better from the media.

If you’re as passionate about diversifying the media as we are, this is your chance to get involved. We’re asking you to contribute to our crowdfunder today so we can hire a part-time coordinator to help us match more young people with senior journalists who have a spare room.

We've built an AirBNB style website, which we can't wait to launch but without a coordinator behind it, we won't be able to keep up with demand.

Who are we?

PressPad was founded by BBC journalist Olivia Crellin (Founder, CEO) following her own experience of entering a journalism career from outside London – and after hearing the stories of many others.

After Olivia launched PressPad, Laura Garcia (Co-founder) and Alfie Tobutt came on board. Laura is a Mexican journalist and lecturer living in the UK who remembers having to sleep on friends’ couches while doing her work experience. She now sees the high cost of accommodation preventing some of her best students from less wealthy backgrounds applying for the most competitive internships.

Alfie, a BBC journalist, manages PressPad’s website and social media while Laerke Christensen, a freelance journalist, manages outreach and liaises with ambassadors, interns and hosts. Nicola Slawson, a freelance journalist from a working class background came on board in September to manage our campaigns and events. 

What do people say about us?

"This is a very good idea indeed."
Laura Kuenssberg, BBC's political editor

"Disappointingly, journalism is falling behind other bastions of elitism such as law and banking, which are doing more to redress glaring inequalities. This despite the fact that the skills needed – an eye for a story and tenacity – can be found in any age, race, gender, class or background. This makes innovations like PressPad, which aims to link hosts offering accommodation to wannabe journalists, so important."
Jane Martinson, Guardian columnist

"PressPad provides a practical solution to a problem that distorts our media. Affordable accommodation enables working-class, refugee and less privileged people to get a start as journalists, so newsrooms will be less dominated by the wealthy and well-connected."
Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News international editor

"It can be demoralising to try and ignite a journalism career outside the M25, but PressPad offers a dose of reassurance that it can be possible. A great scheme!"
PressPad intern

"PressPad is such an amazing scheme and I feel honoured to be a part of it. It has made me feel like my dreams are achievable and no longer out of reach. I feel like someone is finally on my side."
PressPad intern


Read the Frequently Asked Questions on our website. The questions include how Press Pad works, whether interns are safe, what the costs are and what kind of company we are.

Please help us open the door to diversity, one internship at a time... 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£150 or more

13 of 30 claimed

Exclusive supper club

For £150, you're in for a real treat. We have organised an exclusive supper club in March 2020 at the famous Groucho club in Soho. Some seriously impressive journalists will be joining us on the night and you'll get to rub shoulders with them! This is an evening not to be missed.

£5 or more

Thank you

Thanks so much for your support. For £5 you will be mentioned on our website and we will also thank you on social media!

£10 or more

39 of 600 claimed


For £10, we will send you a set of three limited edition badges. We will also thank you on our website and on social media

£15 or more

48 of 175 claimed

Tote bag

Proudly share your passion for diversity in the media with one of our limited edition, fair trade, organic tote bags.

£15 or more

34 of 200 claimed

Mug with Diversitea logo

For £15 you can get your hands on one of our exclusive PressPad mugs with our call for more Diversitea emblazoned across it.

£25 or more

133 of 175 claimed

VIP ticket to our launch party

Our official launch party takes place on 28th January on the 17th floor of the News UK building. For £25, you can celebrate with us in style and get a goodie bag by choosing this reward.

£30 or more

11 of 20 claimed

Mentoring session with PressPad

Get a one-to-one advice session on your journalism career with one of PressPad's founders by contributing £30 to our campaign.

£50 or more

8 of 30 claimed

VIP ticket and mentoring package

If you would like to party but also want careers advice, you can get both a VIP ticket to our launch party and a one-to-one advice session for just £50 (saving £5!).

£75 or more

4 of 20 claimed

Diversity workshop

For just £75, we will come to your place of work and deliver a workshop on diversity based on everything we have learned since starting PressPad!

£600 or more

3 of 10 claimed

Sponsor an intern

Sponsoring an intern to stay in London for a month will make all the difference for them and for £600 you can do just that. We will send you updates during their work experience and they will also send you an email about their experience afterwards. You will also get a VIP ticket to our launch party in January.

£1,000 or more

0 of 10 claimed

Sponsor an intern, supper club and party package

For £1000, you can sponsor an intern and get two tickets for both our supper club and launch party.

£5,000 or more

0 of 2 claimed

Be a PressPad patron

If you donate £5000, we will grant you patron status for one year and will be endlessly grateful to you!

£10,000 or more

0 of 1 claimed

Headline sponsor at Diversify The Media conference

For £10,000, you or your organisation will be our headline sponsor at our inaugural Diversify The Media conference in summer 2020.

Got an idea like this?

Over £100 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.