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Seminars focus on journalism training

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has held two career seminars highlighting the importance of proper journalism training.

The events – in Manchester and London – attracted careers advisors who heard industry experts discuss journalism jobs, career paths and media options.

They also gave information about the best training courses and journalism qualifications.

The events were organised by the council in response to the increased number of requests for careers information.

In Manchester, Richard Catlow, editorial director for the MEN Media Weekly Newspapers, talked about working on a newspaper as a trainee and recruitment procedures within his company.

He said he always hired people with NCTJ qualifications and warned that the skills journalists needed were not taught on media studies courses.

He said: “We know we’re getting people with particular skills and abilities when recruiting people with NCTJ qualifications from accredited courses.

“Too many people are under the impression that a media degree gives them the same skills as a journalism qualification.”

Roger Borrell, editor-in-chief for Archant Life North West, explained that many magazine journalists started as editorial assistants and that he always looked for graduates when recruiting.

He said: “The attributes I look for are hunger for the job, confidence without arrogance, the ability to hold a conversation, personality, competitiveness and preparation to take the odd knock here and there.”

In London, Paul Durrant, assistant editor of the Eastern Daily Press and Darren Isted, editor of The Comet, Hertfordshire, compared working life on a daily and a weekly.

They both stressed the importance of shorthand, media law, government and practical writing and reporting skills.