Some 50 journalists have qualified as senior reporters after passing the National Qualification in Journalism.
There were 102 candidates sitting the National Council for the Training of Journalists exam on 5 July meaning the pass-rate was 49 per cent.
Chief examiner Steve Nelson said: “The NQJ remains not only a tough test of candidates’ knowledge and ability, but also the bridge between trainee reporter and seniority. The dip in the overall pass rate is slightly disappointing, coming on the back of two successive increases, but the NCTJ will not allow standards to fall.
“Some people may balk at the fact that less than half the candidates got through in this sitting, but it is worth remembering that there are four elements (Interview, News Report, Media Law and Practice and Logbook) to pass, and many of those candidates who did not achieve the NQJ will have passed two or three exam sections.”
Journalists were tested on practical journalism skills, law, media ethics and on a logbook of published work.
Among those making the grade as senior reporters were Katie Anderson of the Bognor Regis Observer and Alexandra Rucki of the Wandsworth Guardian who both got their start in journalism thanks to bursaries from the NCTJ Journalism Diversity Fund.
The top candidates in the various areas of the exam were as follows:
The Ted Bottomley Award for the best media law and practice paper went to Helen Barnett of the Harwich and Manningtree Standard.
The Esso Award for the best news report went to Janine Rasiah of the Henley Standard.
The Society of Editors’Award for the best news interview went to Duncan Leatherdale of the Northern Echo.
The Newsquest Award for the best logbook went to Rachael Burnett of the Dorset Echo.
The full list of those passing the NQJ were as follows:
- Katie Anderson – Bognor Regis Observer
- Lauren Archell – Luton on Sunday
- Helen Barnett – Harwich & Manningtree Standard
- Rachel Bishop – Richmond & Twickenham Times
- Hollie-Marie Bone – Cornwall & Devon Media
- James Broadhurst – Times & Star
- Jonathan Brown – Yorkshire Evening Post
- Rachael Burnett – Dorset Echo
- James Burton – Hull Daily Mail
- Anna Clarke – Westmorland Gazette
- Hannah Collisson – Hastings & St. Leonards Observer
- David Comeau – Courier Media Group
- Joseph Curtis – The Hampshire Chronicle
- Damian Fantanto – Oxford Mail
- Sarah Fielden – Evening Telegraph
- William Gardner – The Argus
- Ciaran Gold – Hertfordshire Mercury
- Hannah Green – Somerset County Gazette
- Alexandra Gregg – Berkshire Media Group
- Adam Guest – Barnsley Chronicle
- Samantha Harman – Dorset Echo
- Kelly Harris – Congleton Chronicle
- Sarah Louise Howells – North Devon Gazette
- Adam Howlett – Bury Free Press
- Rebecca Hughes – Medway Messenger
- Adam David Hull – Hemel Hempstead Gazette
- Kirsty Leigh James – Bridgwater Mercury
- Sam Kinnaird – Louth Leader
- David Lambert – Clacton Gazette
- Duncan Leatherdale – Northern Echo
- Freya Leng – Cotswold Journal
- Oliver McAteer – West Sussex County Times
- Alan McGuinness – Medway Messenger
- Rachel Millard – Courier Media Group
- Laura Nightingale – Aldershot News & Mail
- Michael Owens – Evening Telegraph
- Elliot Pinkham – Suffolk Free Press
- Matthew Porter – Braintree & Witham Times
- Faye Preston – Grimsby Evening Telegraph
- Josie Purcell – The West Briton
- Janine Rasiah – Henley Standard
- Samantha Robinson – Batley & Birstall News
- Alexandra Rucki – Wandworth Guardian
- Marion Sauvebois – Gloucestershire Gazette
- Rachel Stretton – Dorset Echo
- Sarah Taylor – Evesham Journal
- William Tomaney – Kidderminster Shuttle
- Sam Tonkin – Saffron Walden Reporter
- James Watkins – Surrey Advertiser
- Danielle Wozencroft – Shropshire Star