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Virtual shorthand teachers for journalists of tomorrow

Shorthand tutorials and speed exercises could be available online in the future.

This was just one of the ideas put forward at the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ annual shorthand seminar, in London.

Delegates believed that 24-hour access to such resources would maximise students’ practice time.

The yearly meetings are held so the NCTJ’s shorthand board can meet tutors and members and give tutors the chance to network and pick up Teeline teaching tips.

Marie Cartwright, chief examiner and chair of the shorthand board, said: “This year’s programme focussed largely on listening to what the delegates had to say and they held nothing back.

“We listened and will be discussing their comments and suggestions further at our next shorthand board meeting.

“We want to encourage openness, sharing of experience and good practice, and the shorthand seminar provides an ideal opportunity for this to happen.”

NCTJ chair Kim Fletcher added: “Shorthand is a basic tool. Employers value it highly – not only as an important skill, but also as a demonstration of the effort students put in to journalism.”


brian thornton (06/08/2008 14:42:24)
As a former newspaper man in the provincial press in Ireland I would say that amazingly shorthand is not now taught as a subject in the Republic of Ireland’s journo courses. This to me is madness. Shorthand, in my view, is the most important skill a good journalist can have. There is a lot of rubbish taught on journalism courses, but shorthand, which is somehow no longer taught in colleges in the Republic of Ireland, is completely overlooked.

lianne (05/09/2008 15:15:31)
I am a third year student on a journalism course where shorthand was only taught one hour a week in our first year, and axed in the second.
It was only towards the end of our second year, during work placements, that we really realised just how important this skill was in the industry.
Shorthand lessons are now available to us in the third year, but only as a supplementary, optional class to our degree.
It is all very well keeping up with developing industry technologies, but when did it become apparent to lecturers on a journalism course to take out perhaps the most essential skill a journalist can have?