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Journalism foundation course turns 40

The journalism foundation course run in Newcastle by the Press Association has turned 40.

The scheme is responsible for launching the careers of regional press editors such as Donald Martin from Glasgow’s Herald and Evening Times, Adrian Faber from West Midlands daily the Express and Star and Brian Aitken, from The Journal in whose newsroom course students are now based.

Sadly for alumni hoping for a reunion, PA said it had decided against holding a party due to the current economic climate.

The centre was the brainchild of John Gay Davis who became editorial director of Thomson Newspapers in 1969, at the time owners Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle and The Journal.

He set up two operations, one in Cardiff and the surviving Newcastle operation.

Trinity Mirror later bought the course when they acquired the two Newcastle papers and Press Association took on the reins in 2006.

Other notable alumni include BBC political commentator Andrew Marr, The Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn, Radio 4 presenter James Naughtie and Financial Times editor Lionel Barber.