Graham Dudman: 'A reporter without shorthand is like a footballer without boots'

The Sun’s managing editor Graham Dudman has spoken of the newspaper’s zero-tolerance stance on shorthand – and how it won’t hire a reporter unless they have at least 100 words per minute.

At a shorthand seminar hosted by the NCTJ last week, Dudman told students: ‘You cannot be a reporter without shorthand ─ end of. It’s like being a footballer without football boots.”

The newspaper recently advertised for four traineeships and received more than 700 applicants. Dudman said the paper imposed only two criteria: the applicants had to have their NCTJ qualification and at least 100wpm shorthand.

At the seminar the winner of the Archant award for best performance in the 100wpm shorthand exam, Hannah Scott, picked up a £250 cheque from Archant North London group editor Geoff Martin, who also said that that ‘shorthand is perhaps the most demanding challenge for trainee journalists”.

Meanwhile, the NCTJ is celebrating its 60th anniversary – and has been congratulated by alumni including Mark Austin, Alastair Campbell, Kay Burley and Piers Morgan.

Morgan said: ‘I had a great time at Harlow College doing my NCTJ course. It taught me all the things you need to be a good journalist: typing, shorthand, the law, story-getting, the vital importance of facts, and an ability to drink ten pints of Grolsch without falling over. Congratulations on the 60th birthday.”

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