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Crime correspondent achieves unusual double

A regional press crime correspondent has achieved what could be a unique journalistic achievement.

Ian Duncan, of the Scarborough Evening News, was among the 106 news reporters to gain their ‘senior’ status by passing the latest National Certificate Examinations.

In doing so, the 44-year-old achieved an unusual double as he had previously qualified as a senior photographer during the 1990s.

Now, he is keen to know whether anyone else in the regional press can claim the brace of qualifications.

He told HTFP: “I went to college in Sheffield in September 1991 and finished there the following June.

“I was lucky enough to get my first job virtually straightaway at the North West Evening Mail, in Barrow-in-Furness.

“It was good to learn the profession and I passed the NCE in press photography at the first attempt in May 1994.

“I stayed in Barrow for another two years before moving to a northern news agency where I stayed until 2002.

“By then I felt the time was right for a change. I had always wanted to write the words, as well as produce the pictures, so I decided to return to college in Darlington to do the pre-entry course in newspaper journalism.”

Ian then joined the Scunthorpe Telegraph as a trainee news reporter and has now been with the Scarborough Evening News for three years, two of which as crime correspondent, during which time he has filed reports from Afghanistan (see pic below).

Despite having seven years of reporting experience, Ian was never previously able to claim ‘senior’ status and complete the NCE as until recently he had never passed the 100wpm shorthand exam, an obligatory requirement of the National Council for the Training of Journalists which runs the scheme.

“When I contacted the NCTJ they said they did not have any record of anyone passing both exams and I think I must be one of the few journalists to have passed both qualifications,” Ian added.

“I would be interested to hear from anyone who has followed a similar career path.”

  • Do you or a colleague boast an unusual set of qualifications? Please tell us at [email protected].
  • Ian in Musa Qala, in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, on Boxing Day 2007
  • Comments

    Scunnychris (08/01/2010 16:10:30)
    Well done Ian, be careful not to become too qualified as some would view it as a crime to have to pay you more for your hard work. Unique, truly, must be the Viking blood.

    Phil Smith (26/03/2010 17:32:32)
    Good lad, Ian. Does this mean you’ve left the green page behind?