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NCTJ joins forces with BJTC to meet demand for multi-media journalists

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has said it is to work more closely with the Broadcast Journalism Training Council as the demand for multi-skilled, multi-media journalists increases.

As part of the joint working, a new video journalism qualification is to be developed and a journalism skills summit is to be held in London next year.

Joint accreditation criteria will also be put together for multi-media journalism courses, and the print journalism media law syllabus will be widened to include online and broadcast journalism requirements.

NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher said: “Newsrooms are in the midst of a digital revolution and the traditional distinctions between media are blurring.

“Plans for our two organisations to join forces on a number of initiatives is a great step forward and can only be good for the future of joined-up journalism thinking and working.”

BJTC chairman Tom Beesley added: “Given the recent transformation in how news is delivered, it makes sense for the BJTC and the NCTJ to explore potentially common ground in approaches to journalism training.

“Future journalists are likely to need both print and broadcasting skills and knowledge – and we welcome the opportunity to break new ground in preparing for that future.”

The announcement came as NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher told delegates at the Society of Editors’ conference in Glasgow that they must train and retrain their journalists to survive, prosper and serve the demands of their communities in the digital age.

During a session on ‘The New Journalist’, she said: “Our journalists will still need all the essential core skills of writing, reporting, law, public affairs and shorthand that we have expected for many years.

“But the new journalist will need to learn a variety of new skills and talents to be able to satisfy their career needs and ours.

“Production, multi-media design packages, content management knowledge, video and audio creation and editing are the new skills we demand.”

She added: “We need to change cultures; but this is notoriously difficult. Even students tend to focus on traditional media boundaries and their preferred media specialism.

“Most journalism courses tend to channel students into one media over another. It requires new ways of thinking and working.”