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Journalism students win cash prizes for shorthand

Two journalism students have been presented with cash prizes for achieving 100pc accuracy in their shorthand exams.

Poppy Bragg from City College Brighton and Hove won an award from the National Council for the Training of Journalists for achieving 110wpm, while Heloise Beaton from Bournemouth University won the award for 100 wpm.

Both students were given cheques for £250 and certificates for winning the awards, which were sponsored by Ryman.

Heloise was presented with her award by NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher at the organisation’s shorthand seminar in Manchester last week.

She said: “I am very pleased to have won this award. Shorthand never came naturally to me and it took me a long time to get the outlines and up to speed. It is great to know the hard work paid off. My tutor Karen provided amazing support.”

Poppy, who previously worked as a solicitor before deciding on a career change, now works as a communications officer for the NSPCC and could not attend the seminar due to work commitments.

She said:  “I’d like to say thank you to my shorthand teacher Nicki Jones. She was absolutely brilliant and I certainly wouldn’t have got my 110 wpm without her.”

At the seminar, award-winning journalist Sarah Chapman shared some tales from her six years as court reporter for the Liverpool Post and Echo and the importance of shorthand when covering court cases.

She also explained what it was like covering gangland murders and police corruption stories, offered tips on court reporting and spoke about the effects of tweeting from court.

Sarah, who is now a journalism lecturer at the University of Salford, said: “It’s absolutely vital to be able to flick through pages of a notebook and find the quote you need quickly rather than having to trawl through an audio device.

“Shorthand gives you extra gravitas and a competitive edge when searching for employment and demonstrates commitment to the job.”