Editors tell student conference: 'Shorthand and legal training essential'

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Leading editors told student journalists that NCTJ qualifications, in particular shorthand and law, alongside a decent amount of work experience and enthusiasm by the bucket load, would ensure they could compete in the tough jobs market of today.

Editors Brien Beharrell from the Newbury Weekly News, Joroen Bergmans from easyjet Traveller, Graham Dudman (managing editor at The Sun), Dave King from the Swindon Advertiser and Dominic Ponsford from Press Gazette were quizzed by 43 members of the NCTJ Student Council at Guardian News and Media’s headquarters in London on Friday.

Graham Dudman, managing editor of The Sun, was on the panel and offered students this advice: “Number one is shorthand and number two is law. I want to know that you can write shorthand at 100wpm.”

He added: “Submit a CV that’s no more than two pages long. You might think you’re the most important person in the world; frankly you’re not. Any spelling mistakes would go in the bin and do some research into the newspaper before you apply.”

Rosemary Lowne, studying MA Journalism at Cardonald College, Glasgow, said of the day: “For me the highlight of the day was the Q&A session with the panel of editors as their advice was extremely helpful.”

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