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Cash and plaudits for newly-qualified senior reporters

Four trainee reporters outshone their peers in the spring NCES by winning the examiners’ awards and £250 cash each.

Markers were looking for an exceptional entry in each of the four categories of the National Certificate Examination: news interview, news report, newspaper practice and logbook.

See what the examiners said about the four winners below and click through to check out the full list of trainees who passed the spring NCE.

Chantal Spittles, Worksop Guardian

Candidates conducted a face-to-face interview about a suspected arson attack and wrote a story. A strong intro, lively quotes and tightly-written facts were features of Chantal’s news interview piece.

The moderators said: “Examiners are looking for reporters who understand the story, can visualise what has happened and then recreate a crystal clear picture for the reader. “Chantal did exactly that. She aimed for the emotional jugular and consistently delivered right through the copy.”

Rhiannon Evans, Brentwood Gazette.

Information about an archaeological dig and its findings were given to candidates in a press conference setting. Rhiannon showed “an excellent grasp of the details” and presented the key points “in a newsy way”.

“She explained all the technical aspects and included a good selection of full accurate quotes. She is to be congratulated on producing a first class report,” markers said.

Adam Hewitt, Reading Chronicle.

The newspaper practice paper asks candidates to answer a law question and write follow-up ideas for two further stories. The moderators said Adam’s paper was “very impressive, combining excellent legal knowledge with imaginative and thorough answers”.

They added: “We were particularly impressed by the candidate’s reference to real contacts he would use to cover the stories.”

Caroline Lowbridge, Nottingham Evening Post.

The logbook is the place for candidates to show a range of cuttings and supporting documentation to track the training process from the start of their careers.

The moderators agreed that Caroline’s submissions showed she had “got under the skin of her patch”. It was a clearly presented logbook, featuring some powerful stories, and she had given a light touch to some key tasks providing great reader interest.

“An excellent logbook and an example to those who are busy collating their entries,” the moderators said.