Four top local press trainees are now each £250 richer after the first round of National Certificate Examinations for 2010.
The quartet were among 97 trainee reporters who, following last month’s exams, have now achieved ‘senior’ status from the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
To qualify for the NCE, trainees must pass four elements – News Interview, News Report, Newspaper Practice and Logbook – with an award handed out to the best reporter in each one.
Here are the four award winners complete with examiners’ comments:
Winner: Robert Garratt, Eastern Daily Press
An evocative writing style and a punchy story marked out former Nottingham Trent University journalism student Robert as the outstanding candidate in the News Interview category.
He said: “I’m thrilled, I remember leaving the NCE with an impending sense of gloom because I thought I had left some details out, so I’m surprised. I would like to thank all the team at Archant Norfolk for being so supportive during my training.”
The exam moderator said: “Robert demonstrated the two simple things that are needed to do well as a reporter: a well-organised interview technique and an evocative writing style.
“He gathered all the facts, some cracking quotes and then put them together in a punchy, flowing and accurate story. He is an excellent winner.”
Winner: Timothy Sculthorpe, Scunthorpe Telegraph
Well chosen quotes helped win the News Report prize for Timothy who completed his NCTJ preliminary training at Cardiff University.
He said: “I am astonished. Of the three exams I sat that day, I thought the News Report was the one that hadn’t gone quite so well, so I am very surprised.”
The exam moderator said: “Timothy covered all key points and used well-chosen and accurate quotes. His use of reported speech was well used to convey facts.
“His report had a strong introduction, good pace and an entertaining style which clearly conveyed the story to the reader.”
Winner: Adam Cornell, Maldon and Burnham Standard
Law graduate Adam put his studies to good use to win the award for best Newspaper Practice paper.
He said: “I sat a law degree before I decided to become a journalist, so I have always been interested in the law and its application. But I had to learn how to answer legal questions as a journalist, using and needing the law on a daily basis, rather than in-depth as a lawyer.”
The exam moderator said Adam’s paper was: “An excellent law answer achieving near maximum marks combined with good practice answers. A textbook example of how to pass NCE Newspaper Practice.”
Adam completed his preliminary training at noSweat Journalism Training in London.
Winner: Matt Meade, Dunfermline Press
Clear and concise presentation won this award for Matt who completed his preliminary training at the Scottish Centre for Journalism Studies
He said: “It was quite hard collating everything for the logbook. I was confident I had everything in place but I wasn’t sure if the examiners would see it that way but obviously they did.
“Working at the Dunfermline Press has given me a wide range of stories to cover, from court to sport and I’m very grateful for that.”
The exam moderator said: “Clear and concise presentation in this logbook along with a strong sense of story-telling made this an ideal choice.”