Today, we are happy to highlight our partner La Chance, a French organization promoting diversity in the media. Ronan Lancelot is a member of the Executive Board and also Head of Pedagogy.
Hello Ronan! Could you start by telling us more about La Chance?
La Chance is an organization that helps scholarship recipients apply to journalism schools. We strive to foster and promote diversity in the media, and we offer free 9-month preparatory classes in Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Grenoble and Rennes. La Chance supports, supervises and develops the abilities and skills of our beneficiaries, and fosters confidence within them.
For more than 12 years, our goal has been to integrate a wide range of candidates from isolated rural areas and underprivileged neighborhoods, as well as professionals with disabilities. We are convinced that these young people are capable of entering schools and work in the field of journalism. Including diversity in our training is very important to us and therefore leads to diversity in points of view which is essential in media.
How far has your organization come?
In 2008, we started with 5 students in Paris. Today we are present in several major French cities and welcome 70 to 80 students every year. It’s a truly remarkable achievement. We believe La Chance has a true purpose, and we are very proud to see how devoted our alumni are in the organization. They ensure the smooth functioning of our organization and gladly give back to the community, and provide networking opportunities. La Chance is a genuine solidarity-based network made up of 350 volunteers.
We have noticed that the media is slowly becoming more transparent and representative, and most importantly journalism schools are attributing more importance to diversity. But there is still a long way to go and in a perfect world, La Chance wouldn’t have to exist. French media fails to reflect the country’s actual population. Sadly, our organization fills a genuine need. Personally, I hope that in ten years the world of journalism will have sufficiently grown for La Chance to become obsolete.
You offer both on-site and e-learning training – could you tell us about your beneficiaries’ needs?
We identify training needs as soon as the registration process begins. After this step, the beneficiaries interview with our volunteer staff, and that is generally when possible shortcomings in English, French and general knowledge are detected.
The jobs they are aiming for require a certain eloquence, as well as excellent oral and written skills. The hardest part is making them realize that they can overcome these shortcomings and give them the confidence and poise that becoming a journalist requires. As for general knowledge, we are faced with a difficult task; our goal isn’t to standardize them but to get to know more about their field of interests, which are often original. For us, there is no good or bad culture, but learning about general knowledge is key and must be acquired continuously throughout one’s life. Our job is to point them in the right direction.
Since 2019, your beneficiaries have been part of Gymglish’s Social Impact program. Could you tell us more about this collaboration?
Your tools are very relevant for us, and we are thrilled to work alongside Gymglish! Our beneficiaries can benefit from Gymglish (English lessons), Frantastique ortho (Written French and grammar) and Memorable (general knowledge). Personalization of lessons is a huge asset for them because, by definition, the course adapts to their level and needs. Email push notifications are very effective without being too intrusive. Lessons are quirky; our beneficiaries really get to laugh while they learn every day! On another note, as our beneficiaries are spread out throughout France, e-learning remains a great learning solution and helps promote equal opportunities.
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