Did the NCTJ take its eye off the Bull?

The National Council for the Training of Journalists was surprised to discover last week that former deputy editor of the Sunday Express Andy Bull was jailed in 2004 for downloading child porn after the Operation Ore investigation.

Bull had been working there for some months as a freelance consultant and was sacked after “it was brought to the attention” of the training body that Bull had such a conviction.
The surprising thing is that the NCTJ wasn’t aware of Bull’s past sooner.

After all, his conviction was widely publicised at the time, and soon afterwards he wrote a detailed account of the experience for The Times’ Saturday magazine.

In a separate twist, the Sports Journalists’ Association claims on its website that “the Sports Journalists’ Association had contacted the NCTJ in June to question Bull’s involvement in drafting the organisation’s sports journalism qualification, after the SJA was belatedly consulted about the new course.”

The NCTJ told Press Gazette that it has no record of any concerns being raised by the SJA about Bull’s appointment.

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