Can journalism training be unified?

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Both prospective journalists and employers must find the sea of acronyms in the world of journalism training baffling. Is it better to train with the NCTJ, the BJTC or the PTC. Or are journalists better off taking a journalism degree, an MA or one of the plethora of other assorted diplomas out there – including NVQs and Btecs.

An end to the confusion could raise standards and stop journalists without the basic skills needed for the job being let loose with a notepad and tape recorder.

That’s why talks reported in Press Gazette this week between the NCTJ (National Council for the Training of Journalists), the BJTC (Broadcast Journalism Training Council) and the PTC (Periodicals Training Council) are potentially so important.

Strict minimum standards for the training to be undergone be all journalists could help minimise the sort of gaffs mistakes which bring the whole profession into disrepute. Like the chronologically-challenged cutting and pasting which has been going at the BBC and the haphazard note-taking of Andrew Gilligan which came to light in the Hutton Inquiry.

But what are the minimum standards now required of a journalist in the multimedia world?

Speaking personally, 100 words shorthand, a good knowledge of media law, keyboard skills and news writing are the basic skills I’d look for in a journalist wishing to work at Press Gazette. Any audio of video journalism skills would be a great bonus.
But what do you think? And is the creating of a single training accreditation body going to be practically possible?

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