Nearly three quarters of journalists who sat their senior exams in March have earned the National Qualification in Journalism, marking the third highest pass rate since its introduction.
A total of 41 out of 57 candidates (72 per cent) successfully completed the interview, media law and practice, logbook and news report exams to become senior reporters.
Scroll down for full list of successful NQJ candidates
The best figures were seen in the media law and practice paper, with a pass rate of 82 per cent, which chief examiner Steve Nelson said reflected the “increased focus on legal and ethical issues”.
The National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) replaced the National Certificate in Journalism (NCE) four years ago, with March’s results marking the 13th NQJ exam sitting.
The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) has also named award winners for the best submission in each exam category. They are:
- Rosaleen Fenton (Ilford Recorder) for media law and practice
- Geraldine Scott (Eastern Daily Press) for news report
- Robert Langley (Retford Times) for news interview
- Kieran Murray (Bridlington Free Press) for logbook.
Fenton said: “I am over the moon to have passed my seniors. I was even more delighted when I found out I had won an award for my media law paper. Working on a news patch as busy as Ilford, my media law skills have been kept sharp. I’d like to thank my colleagues for all their support.”
The senior examiner said: “An excellent, all round paper with no weaknesses. Particularly good on the legal and ethical dangers of taking and publishing photographs from a crash scene and jigsaw dangers in reporting sex cases. A good analysis of the problems posed in question three. Rosaleen’s answers were logically worked out and easy to follow.”
Scott said: “I’m thrilled to win the award, and really it’s a testament to those who have supported and trained me.
“I’ve got to say a massive thank you to Anne Edwards, who took me under her wing at the Great Yarmouth Mercury, my hometown paper, when I knew nothing at all. She taught me proper, old-school journalism techniques which even in today’s digital world are still what all good reporters need to have a grounding in and consistently fall back on.
“Then Al McGregor, Ian Clarke and of course Archant Norfolk editor David Powles for encouraging me and pushing me to improve. Plus the brilliant Newcastle PA Training course for a gruelling four months of diploma stress.”
The senior examiner said: “Geraldine produced a confidently written report containing key facts and enough background to give readers a full understanding of the story and the implications for students of the sixth form college when it closed. The story was delivered in a crisp, easy to read style with logical progression. Her Part B follow up plans were well-thought out and detailed. Her paper was a pleasure to mark.”
Langley said: “To say I’m surprised is an understatement, but I will gratefully take the award – and the money! The exams were tough and I was just happy to pass them the first time, so this really is the icing on the cake. I’d like to thank my colleagues, past and present, at the Retford Times and Lincolnshire Echo for their help, support and guidance over the last 18 months and I’m looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
The senior examiner said: “Robert’s story had a strong intro covering all the main points of the story that immediately gripped the reader. There was a good high quote from the victim’s mother backed up by other crucial quotes from the victims and the police officer. His copy flowed well and he captured the drama of the attacks with some excellent writing.”
Murray said: “To find out I have won the award is just amazing. It is great to see that all my hard work has paid off. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged me along the way.”
The senior examiner said: “A well compiled logbook and one that hit maximum marks across a wide range of key tasks. Judges were particularly impressed by submissions for human interest, courts and councils, while almost every other aspect scored highly and showed real maturity. A great example to anyone compiling their logbook and a body of work that shows a candidate with a firm grasp of all the essentials.”
The following candidates, listed in alphabetical order by surname, have now gained the National Qualification in Journalism for reporters:
- Ann-Marie Abbasah, Ilford Recorder
- Joel Adams, The Argus
- Jack Averty, Express & Star
- Alexander Ballinger, Get West London
- Rochelle Barrand, Doncaster Free Press
- Stephanie Brawn, Lancashire Telegraph
- Eve Buckland, Swindon Advertiser
- Clare Butler, Express & Star
- Loughlan Campbell, The News, Portsmouth
- Stewart Carr, Luton Herald & Post
- Nick Charity, Mansfield Chad
- Richard Craig, Epsom Guardian
- Thomas Dalby, Harwich & Manningtree Standard
- Sophie Day, Hunts Post
- Rosaleen Fenton, Ilford Recorder
- Freya Findlay, The Cumberland News
- Christopher Flanagan, Welwyn & Hatfield Times
- Joshua Fordham, The Western Gazette
- James Harrison, Maidenhead Advertiser
- Ben Hendry, Press & Journal, Aberdeen
- Tom Herbert, Buckinghamshire Advertiser
- Joseph Keith, Yorkshire Evening Post
- Robert Langley, Retford Times
- David Lee, Windsor & Eton Express
- Erin Lyons, The Chronicle Series
- David Mackie, The Press, York
- Tom Matthews, Croydon Advertiser
- Kieran Murray, Bridlington Free Press
- Amy Nickalls, Folkestone Herald
- Katherine Palmer, Braintree & Witham Times
- James Peck, Retford Times
- Daniel Prince, Sunderland Echo
- David Rivers, Ealing Gazette
- Connie Rusk, Surrey Advertiser
- Geraldine Scott, Eastern Daily Press
- Caleb Spencer, Cambrian News
- Michael Steward, Saffron Walden Reporter
- Alexander Thorp, Grimsby Telegraph
- Huw Wales, Hertfordshire Mercury
- Philip Winter, Goole Times
- James Woolven, Isle of Wight County Press.