The outgoing editor of Aberdeen’s Press and Journal has lambasted the state of journalism graduates coming out of university.
Derek Tucker, who announced his retirement earlier this month, said it had been a mistake to leave the training of new journalists to the academics.
Speaking at the Society of Editors conference, he said he would not want to adopt a content management system where journalists wrote directly onto pages because of the standard of graduates.
But other editors speaking at the session, entitled ‘It ain’t dead and we’re fixing it’ disagreed, saying their trainees had brought new skills to the newsroom.
Derek told the conference: “We could not produce what we now do with that method. I would be very reluctant to take that route due to the current state of the industry and handing over the education of young people to universities.
“We are reaping what we decided many years ago when we decided to leave training to the academics.”
“We must have a more active role in the selection of the people entering the profession.
“Tomorrow’s journalists must be trained by today’s journalists, not yesterday’s enthusiastic amateurs.”
Derek added many journalism graduates did not leave university with the right characteristics to be journalists or with a good grasp of the English language.
She said: “If there’s one thing that makes me proud, it is taking educated university students and turning them into the journalists of the future.”
Joy added that when the Mail was starting out with videos, they had benefited enormously from a new trainee who knew a lot more about them than anyone else in the newsroom.
Fellow editor Darren Thwaites, from Teeside’s Evening Gazette, said he had found there were still good trainees and bad trainees.
He added: “But no one under the age of 30 knows where to put an apostrophe.”