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Top trainees lift exam awards

Three successful journalists from the October 2005 National Certificate Examination have been singled out for special excellence awards for their work.

Catherine Lofthouse, a journalist with Bedfordshire Newspapers, won the Society of Editors’ Award for the best news interview.

The examiners said: “Catherine produced an excellent story that injected a touch of humanity into well paced writing that melded facts, quotes and solid structure to create an absorbing read.”

She also scooped the Esso Award for the best speech story, with the examiners adding: “She produced a very competent all round story.

“Her brisk account was well above average quality and included all the main points, presented in a smooth, readable style.”

Sarah Halls from the South London Guardian won the Ted Bottomley Award, sponsored by the Midland News Association, for the best newspaper practice paper.

The examiners said: “Her grasp of the law is clear and well expressed and she approached the other questions in a logical way. Sarah also came up with lots of ideas which would result in good stories for any newspaper.”

The best logbook, sponsored by Newsquest, was submitted by Tim Ashton of the News Shopper.

The examiners said: “Tim’s logbook was a model entry, with an excellent range of varied and well-written stories immaculately presented.”

In addition to the above Alison Rennie of the Kirkintilloch Herald, who passed the April 2005 NCE, won the annual TS Murray Award for the best performance overall in 2005 by a candidate employed by a Scottish newspaper.