The pass rate for this autumn’s senior reporter examinations dropped to 48pc – the lowest in two-and-a-half years.
Just under half of the 161 trainee reporters who took the autumn 2008 National Certificate Exam came away with ‘senior’ status, compared to a 57pc pass rate in April.
The National Council for the Training of Journalists, which runs the exam scheme, said poor shorthand notes, substantial errors in copy, weak time-management and holes in legal knowledge had been cited by the examiner as reasons for the 48pc pass rate.
HoldtheFrontPage was recommended as a good resource by the chief examiner to those reporters whose poor media law knowledge had seen them fail the newspaper practice section.
The NCTJ also said there were many quality submissions with some excellent stories for the news report and news interview sections.
The chief examiner said in his report: “The evidence points to the NCE continuing to be a robust test and challenging final hurdle on the path to seniority.”
By comparison, sub-editors fared much better in their equivalent NCE with six of the seven candidates passing.
The chief examiner said: “The take-up rate for this new exam is promising.
“Young journalists are taking careers in production seriously and employers are welcoming the opportunity to put them through a formal training route.
“Pages submitted in the practical exam were generally to a high standard of design – clear and clean.
“Candidates who were successful in all elements of the exam can be rightly proud of their achievement.”
Four reporters were singled out for special praise for submitting the best entry in each of the NCE categories – news interview, news report, newspaper practice and logbook – each winning £250. They are:
Chris Bishop (22/12/2008 21:42:14)
Congratulations to Chris Hill for his best entry in the logbook section.
Well done from all at the office, we were thrilled to hear you’d beaten off 122 other entrants to win the award.