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Journalism exams record 55 per cent pass rate

More than half of the journalists who took the new-style National Certificate Examination in April have qualified as seniors.

The pass rate of 55 per cent saw 150 of the 273 reporters who took the exams at centres across the country gain their NCE.

To pass the NCE and qualify as senior reporters, journalists this year had to be successful in four different sections: news interview; speech; newspaper practice; and logbook or editor’s report.

They had to achieve an average of 60 per cent across all four sections.

There were several awards for the highest-scoring candidates in several sections, each winning £250.

  • Stephen
  • Stephen Lisle, of the South Wales Evening Post, won the £250 Society of Editors’ Award for the best news interview. Northern Echo reporter Hannah Chapman was awarded the Esso Award for the best report of a speech.

  • Karen
  • Karen Steel, of the Haverhill Echo, won the Ted Bottomley Award for the newspaper Practice paper, and Joanne Winrow, from the Halifax Courier, completed the best logbook entry to win the Newsquest Award.

    For the full list of successful NCE candidates, click here.

    Click here to see the successful photographers.

    To be eligible to sit the NCE, journalists must first pass preliminary examinations in practical journalism, media law, public affairs and shorthand at 100wpm.

    They also have to complete a minimum of 18 months employment and training with a newspaper and submit a logbook which includes a record of their development, three-monthly assessments for their training period and 34 cuttings of original work for 17 different reporting tasks.

    A pass rate of 83 per cent meant 109 candidates passed the new logbook section of the NCE.

    This was the first time the new-style logbooks were assessed as an integral part of the NCE and the markers were all senior working journalists from newspapers across the country.

    Logbooks were introduced to make independent assessment of on-the-job activity part of the NCE and to encourage both trainers and trainees to adopt a structured approach to work-place learning and development.

    The examiners’ report praises “the large number of excellent entries showcasing a wealth of young talent encouraged by conscientious trainers. It was gratifyingly clear that regular in-house assessments were taking place in the majority of offices.”

    The pass rate for the news interview section, a story about animal cruelty, was 68 per cent and 69 per cent passed the speech section, with a current story about controversial plans to construct a windfarm. 59 per cent of candidates were successful in the newspaper practice section.

    Click for more on this year’s:

  • Newspaper Practice paper;
  • Speech;
  • News Interview;
  • Log Books.

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    Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
    e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk