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Training boost as qualifications group re-forms

The Newspaper Qualifications Council has been re-launched with Wolverhampton Express & Star managing director Keith Parker as chairman.

The Council aims to actively support training and qualifications to high professional standards in all sectors of the regional newspaper industry.

It comprises representatives of the management, editors and training providers within the newspaper industry.

And new members include Express & Star editor Adrian Faber, Barrie Williams, editor of the Western Morning News, Press Association director of operations Pat Pilton, Keith Sutton, editorial director of Cumbrian Newspapers and Simon Irwin, editorial director of the Kent Messenger Group.

The Council is the partner of the national awarding body, NCFE, for the Level 4 National Vocational Qualifications in Journalism, which will be known as the Diploma in Newspaper Journalism and which is equivalent to a foundation degree.

Companies using the Newspaper Journalism Qualifications include Archant, Coventry Newspapers Ltd, Cumbrian Newspapers Ltd, the Grimsby Evening Telegraph, Hull Daily Mail, Kent Messenger, The Midland News Association, Newark Advertiser Co Ltd, North Wales Newspapers and The Press Association.

They regard the NVQ in journalism as the most effective on-the-job training for journalists to reach exacting professional standards.

It is a modern alternative to exam-based training and involves continuous workplace assessment that ensures the progression of staff in all aspects of newspaper journalism as well as specific individual training.

Keith Parker said: “Clearly the most effective way of training today’s journalists is by the Level 4 National Vocational Qualification.

“The publishers who use it believe the system produces the best journalists trained in today’s methods and expertise. More importantly, it fits with the modern newsroom’s needs and demands.”

The relaunch meeting saw members taking decisions on the future direction of the Council, funding and marketing. Work is already under way on the launch of a new website and the re-branding of NQC marketing materials. And apart from supporting journalism training, the Council will also try to secure further state funding for the future of training qualifications in the regional press.

Those at the meeting also included Society of Editors director Bob Satchwell, John Fry, the chief executive of Archant and Joanna Parlby, deputy managing director of the Newark Advertiser Company.

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