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November NCE: Top trainees earn £250 prizes

Four top trainee reporters have been awarded prizes of £250 after being recognised for having the best exam papers in the National Certificate Examination.

They are among the 53 candidates who have achieved senior status from the National Council for the Training of Journalists following the exams last month.

To qualify for the NCE, candidates must pass all four parts – the News Interview, News Report, Newspaper Practice and Logbook and an award is given to the best reporter in each one.

The four award winners, along with comments from the examiners, were:

Society of Editors’ Award for Outstanding News

Winner: Ruth Mansfield, South Wales Argus

Examiners said Ruth’s punchy intro with two of the main points of the story set the scene for a good, solid human interest story.

The exam moderator said: “She was strong on detail which complemented a well-flowing story. She chose good quotes which were accurate.

“Ruth’s copy was clean and the use of a fact box added to the overall story.”

Esso Award for Outstanding News Report

Winner: Ryan Hooper, Western Morning News

Ryan was praised by markers as a reporter who was a safe pair of hands in covering a story.

Examiners said: “Ryan confidently blended the speech with important points from the background material to produce a strong, accurate and lively news story.

“In the words of the markers – you feel safe in this reporter’s hands.”

Ted Bottomley Award for Outstanding Newspaper
Practice Paper

Winner: Maximillian Orbach, Evening Echo, Basildon

Maximillian was said to have given a textbook example of how to tackle the Newspaper Practice paper.

The moderator said: “A comprehensive law answer citing relevant cases and law, followed by practice answers that clearly demonstrate the candidate’s imagination and ability.

“It is clear from this paper that this candidate is already putting into practice the skills that the newspaper practice paper looks for. One of the highest newspaper practice scores in recent years. A very impressive performance.”

Newsquest Award for Outstanding Logbook

Winner: Sheena Campbell, Worthing Herald

Sheena’s Logbook was praised for being the perfect example of consistency in both context and presentation.

Examiners said: “Never falling below a very high standard on all key tasks, this is good example of how solid journalism should be presented.

“Particular examples worth mentioning are the inquiries key task and courts, traditionally difficult areas to attract high marks.

“The trainee’s choice also shows great depth and the logbook as a whole shows someone who is comfortable writing across a range of subjects and styles.”