THE first Facebook funded Community Reporter has started at The South Wales Argus.

Elizabeth Birt is the first Community Reporter to be appointed at the paper and will focus on covering community news.

The 25-year-old began her new job on Monday, March 25.

Facebook is funding around 80 Community Reporters in the UK through a £4.5m charitable donation to the NCTJ to support a two-year Community News project with regional publishers which also aims to bring more diversity into newsrooms.

Elizabeth, who previously wrote for a music website on a voluntary basis – eventually becoming deputy editor, said: “I’ve always really enjoyed writing and spent a lot of time writing for a music website.

“However, without the NCTJ qualifications, I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere in it professionally.

“That was until I saw the job advertised.”

Elizabeth went on to say that in taking on the role, she hopes to gain the experience of what it is like working in an actual news room.

“Also honing my writing and journalistic skills to an industry standard,” she said.

South Wales Argus Editor Nicole Garnon said: “We had so many applications for the first Facebook Community Reporter roles, and from people in all walks of life.

“Elizabeth is already proving to be a great addition to the newsroom, she is building up a great network of contacts and comes to conference every day with stories she has found under her own steam.”

The NCTJ will provide training for Elizabeth to make sure she gets all the qualifications she needs to progress. Facebook will also be holding training sessions for the community reporters taken on in newsrooms around the country.

If you have a story for Elizabeth, contact her on or call 01633 777062.