Blackpool Gazette reporter scores excellence hat-trick as 72 per cent pass NCTJ senior journalist test

 

A newly-qualified senior reporter for the Blackpool Gazette has scooped three of the four NCTJ excellence awards as he was among 50 journalists to make the grade as senior reporters passing the National Qualification in Journalism.

Some 69 journalists sat the exam in July making a pass rate of 72 per cent, the highest rate ever.

Paul Berentzen won the Ted Bottomley Award for media law and practice, the Esso Award for his news report, and the Society of Editors’ Award for his news interview. He completed his preliminary NCTJ qualification at News Associates in Manchester.

The chief examiner  said: “To be adjudged the nation’s best in one category is an achievement in itself. To do it in three sections is remarkable.”

The examiners said he produced excellent answers in the media law and practice paper with an almost perfect answer in the ethics question.    

On his news report and news interview, the examiners praised his newsroom skills, mature style and logical questioning.

Berentzen said: "I am extremely grateful for the support of colleagues past and present who helped prepare me for the exams.

"I would advise any trainees getting ready to sit the NQJ to set aside plenty of time to revise, ask senior colleagues about their experiences of the exams, and try not to let nerves get the better of you on the day."

He was one of four NQJ candidates from the Blackpool Gazette who passed their senior exams first-time in the July sitting.

Blackpool Gazette editor Jon Rhodes said: "I am absolutely delighted all four of our trainees – Paul Berentzen, David Sharman, Katie Upton and Gareth Vickers – have passed their NQJs at the first attempt.

"All four of them have proved to be first-rate reporters who really get Blackpool and the Fylde coast and how to seek out and deliver hard-hitting, compelling and entertaining content.

"I always say to aspiring reporters in interviews there is no better place to learn than here in Blackpool. It is one of the most unique and lively news patches in the UK. Together with the assistance of our trainer John Wilson, news editor Matt Squires and head of content Andy Sykes, the endless supply of diverse news has helped hone the skills of all four which should hopefully stand them in great stead for the remainder of what, I am sure, will be hugely successful journalistic careers. 

"I am also thrilled to learn Paul has won three of the four national awards as part of the NQJ process which is a fantastic achievement and unheard of in recent history."

The final award, the Newsquest Award for the e-logbook, was won by Megan Tatum, a senior reporter for the Essex Chronicle.

The winners will receive a cheque for £250 and a certificate of achievement for each award.

Here is the full list of journalists who passed the NQJ:

 

Andrew 

Baber 

Wiltshire Times 

Kate 

Banks 

Sale & Altringham Messenger 

Ashley Jay 

Barnard 

Darlington & Stockton Times 

Rebecca 

Bastable 

Chichester Observer 

Richard  

Beecham 

Yorkshire Weekly Newspaper Group 

Paul 

Berentzen 

Blackpool Gazette 

Neil 

Bracegirdle 

Suffolk Free Press 

Gavin 

Caney 

Eastern Daily Press 

Thomas 

Carlisle 

Horncastle News 

Man Yee 

Chow 

The Sentinel 

William 

Cook 

Burnley Express 

Jacobus 

Couvee 

North London & Herts Newspapers 

Patrick  

Daly 

The Herald, Plymouth 

Sian 

Davies 

The Herald, Plymouth 

Philip 

Dewey 

Slough Express 

Lewis 

Dyson 

Sheerness Times 

Katy Louise 

Griffin 

Midweek Herald 

Nick 

Gutteridge 

Reading Chronicle 

Emma 

Hardwick 

Saffron Walden Reporter 

Jennifer 

Hardwick 

Courier Media Group 

Kirsty-Ann 

Hewson 

Congleton Chronicle 

Rachael  

Hook 

Courier Media Group 

James 

Illingworth 

Wigan Evening Post 

Ben 

Leo 

The Argus 

Olivia 

Lerche 

Chichester Observer 

Charlotte Hannah 

Lilley 

Express & Star  

Hanna 

Ljunggren 

Banbury Guardian 

Anna  

Mauremootoo 

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 

Gayle 

McDonald 

Daily Echo 

Mark 

McKay 

Oxford Mail 

Rosa  

McMahon 

Eastern Daily Press 

Anne 

Moore 

Wiltshire Gazette & Herald 

Thomas 

Murphy 

Westmorland Gazette 

Katriona 

Ormiston 

Oxfordshire Guardian 

Ann-Marie  

Parry  

Press and Journal (Aberdeen) 

James 

Podesta 

Cambridgeshire Times 

Craig 

Saunders

Courier Media Group 

David 

Sharman 

Blackpool Gazette 

Jonathan 

Sharman 

Surrey Comet 

Christopher John 

Shimwell 

Chichester Observer 

Kathryn 

Snowdon 

Watford Observer 

Megan  

Tatum 

Essex Chronicle 

Katie 

Upton 

Blackpool Gazette 

Jonathan 

Vale 

East Anglian Daily Times 

Gareth 

Vickers 

Blackpool Gazette 

Daniel Lee 

Willers 

Pocklington Post 

Kate Louise 

Wilson 

Stroud News & Journal 

Heloise

Wood

News Shopper

Hannah Rose Mellor 

Worrall 

Driffield Times 

Simone 

Yates 

Lancashire Telegraph 

 

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