Media industry backs plan for single training body

Magazine publishers and industry academics have backed the idea of developing one accreditation body for all journalism training after an approach from the National Council for the Training of Journalists to the Periodicals Training Council.

The idea was supported at the PTC Academics and Industry Forum, which aims to forge links between the tutors of PTC’s 14 accredited journalism courses and magazine publishers.

Developing one body was described as “desirable and appropriate” by tutors at the PTC event – but only if it had the “light touch” approach of the PTC.

The Broadcast Journalism Training Council has also had talks with the NCTJ along the same lines.

Lorraine Davies, director of the PTC, said: “The challenge would be first of all how would such a body be funded to ensure it remains absolutely objective? That’s one of the things PTC can guarantee because we don’t have anyone pulling our strings financially.”

Chris Wheal, chair of the NUJ’s professional training committee, said: “It’s a blinkered approach to think people will work only in magazines for the rest of their life, so this is a very positive thing. The training bodies are a bit behind the times in that it’s already happening – students are already doing it and journalists are already doing it.”

One idea is that various training bodies will agree a single standard for multimedia training.

Wheal said: “We don’t think journalists who start on a newspaper should only be trained to produce a bit of poor-quality video to put on a website – we think they should be trained so they can produce really good broadcast-quality material.”

David Bradshaw, head of Journalism and Communication at Bournemouth University, said: “Clearly it would make life easier for higher education institutions simply because they will be dealing with just one institution. However, that single body would have to represent the interests and the needs of the whole journalism sector from print, magazine, radio, TV and online and this might be quite hard to achieve, because even in the current digital converged environment the different branches of the media still have different requirements.”

• With the vast array of journalism training courses and qualifications on offer, is it time the industry agreed to a general standard on journalism training? Join the debate at blogs.pressgazette.co.uk/editor

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