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Shorthand 'more necessary than ever' – NCTJ chief

In the multimedia age of the 21st century shorthand is “more necessary than ever”, according to a leading training chief.

Kim Fletcher, chairman of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, was speaking Radio 4’s Today show about the importance of the skill.

He said: “If you’ve got a shorthand note you can find the quote very, very quickly.

“You go in with a tape recorder, or a digital recorder, and if you’ve spent an hour in there with your recorder you’ve got an hour of tape to go through, that takes quite a long time.

“You can’t take digital recorders into court. The other thing about it, almost a theoretical thing, it’s the notion of learning shorthand.

“It demonstrates a real dedication to the craft. In a day when so many people are jumping up, blogging, calling themselves journalists, you go and take the trouble to learn shorthand, and it suggests you’re serious about things.”

  • Today presenter John Humphrys took down some notes during the programme and has posted a photo of his notepad on the BBC website, giving readers the chance to guess what’s written.
  • Comments

    Cleland Thom (12/11/2009 13:41:46)
    See my blog post

    Ticketyboo (13/11/2009 22:46:40)
    Perhaps if they gave as much prominence to the new skills of journalism as they do to the traditional (see old) skills then they might have some relevance in a modern industry which is crying out for modern thinking, yet is being strangled by the irrelevant dinosaurs at the NCTJ.