CJET inspires and encourages the personal development of disadvantaged young people through journalism, writing, literacy and improving inter-personal communication. Community-based journalism is used by the Trust as a powerful vehicle for furthering the personal and social development of young people in hard to reach, non-traditional communities by giving them the ability to think critically about the world and express their ideas in a clear and collaborative way. Practising journalism requires them to engage in the civic life of their communities.
CJET helps train and resource young people who the UK government refers to as NEETS (not in education, employment or training) who would like to become citizen reporters but who previously, because of their own financial circumstances or lack of education, were unable to gain access to a career in writing, photography or video. It produces educational material that includes college standard online out-reach materials and tutorials for contributors interested in a career in journalism, photography or broadcasting. The charity also aims to assist the public to find a better connection with the sometimes mystifying world of media, journalism and current affairs that is so influential in all of our lives.
A recent report by The Work Foundation identified many areas in the UK where NEET rates among young people was exceptionally high and where public sector cuts meant that youth services and 16-19 education faced reductions of around 20 per cent. In Camberwell and Peckham, south London, where CJET is based, the number of young people looking for work for more than six months is up 85 per cent since January 2012. This dramatic increase in youth unemployment is particularly worrying after the area was badly affected by the riots in August of 2011. It is this type of social inequality affecting young people that CJET is striving to deal with.
CJET has partnered with The-Latest.Com, Britain’s first dedicated citizen journalism news portal, in some of its projects as well as Kids Company, Morley College and the London College of Communications. The Trust has formed productive relationships with a number of media outlets and academic institutions including Sky, BBC, Media Trust, and the Time Out publication, the South London Press, City University, Goldsmiths and South Bank University. CJET plans to work with similar organisations in the furtherance of its key goals.