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Assistant editor scoops top NCTJ prize

An assistant editor has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to journalism training with her employers and the NCTJ.

Cathy Duncan, from Swansea’s South Wales Evening Post, is also chief sub-editing examiner with the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

She picked up the ‘Chairman’s Award’ last night at the NCTJ’s Journalism Skills Conference in Manchester, which continues today.

NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher said: “There are many people working in journalism who, every day, make valuable contributions to training those entering the industry.

“By working at both the coalface and with the NCTJ, Cathy Duncan is well placed to communicate her skills and knowledge to a wide spectrum of others in the industry.

“On her paper, she has greatly assisted and inspired trainee journalists, while her work as chief examiner at the NCTJ means she can influence decision-making and break new ground – as she has – in examinations and training for students on courses.

“As an all-round contributor to journalism training, her energy and commitment are first class. The NCTJ commends her dedication, passion, and we thank her for all her work in this field.”

Cathy joined the NCTJ’s Newspaper Journalism examination Board in 2004 and immediately set about modernising and updating the awards.

She has championed the introduction and development of a new qualification in sub-editing for both traditional and non-traditional new entrants and worked to provide an equivalent professional development pathway for sub-editors.

She was also involved in developing the content and assessments for the preliminary qualification for new entrants and the National Certificate Examination for seniors.

Spencer Feeney, editor of the South Wales Evening Post, said: “Cathy is one of a rare breed; a journalist with an interest in training that extends beyond getting the NCE out of the way.

“Since she was given responsibility for organising and co-ordinating all editorial training at Swansea, she has transformed the quantity and quality of training that our journalists, trainee and senior, receive.

“She has ensured the company’s bespoke trainee journalist scheme has produced a stream of high-quality journalists who have been able to step into any role in our newsrooms.

“The true value of these multi-skilled young people is only now being fully realised as the digital revolution in our workplaces speeds up.

“I am sure she is a very worthy winner of the NCTJ Chairman’s Award.”


Paul Wiltshire (05/12/2008 21:13:10)
As someone who has worked closely with Cathy over the last few years in improving training for younger reporters across the west and Wales, I’d like to add my congratulations. Without her heady mix of dedication and humour, many places would still be in the training dark ages.