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Weekly journalist scores double success in NCE

A weekly newspaper journalist has secured double success in her National Certificate Examination after winning two awards.

Hannah Upton, left, from the Westmorland Gazette has won the Esso Award for her news report and the Newsquest Award for her logbook after sitting the NCE in July.

She joined the Westmorland Gazette after completing a MA journalism course at the University of Central Lancashire and will be given £250 for each award.

The other awards for the best results were won by Benjamin Woods from the Eastern Daily Press, who won the Ted Bottomley Award for his newspaper practice exam, and Thomas Jennings from the Oxford Mail, who won the Society of Editors’ Award for his news interview.

Hannah was praised by the examiners for a news report which covered all the key points and a logbook which was “well written and engaging”.

Commenting on her news report, they said: “Hannah covered all the key points well and with suitable urgency as warranted by the situation. She used a good blend of background and speech, enhanced by three well-chosen, accurate quotes.”

And examiners also complimented her logbook, saying: “Hannah’s submissions are not just good stories but are well-written and engaging. Good presentation and lots of thought went into all submissions.

“The logbook had very strong human interest and features tasks which show the strength and depth of this award winner.”

Hannah said: “I am absolutely gobsmacked to win these two awards. I moved from East Lancashire Newspapers with Johnston Press to Kendal with Newsquest a couple of months before sitting the NCE and would have been delighted just to pass.

“I was helped a lot by my former and present trainers and colleagues, especially everyone involved with the Newsquest Refresher in York.

“I’m sure hearing the calm voice of my former shorthand tutor Pat Brand at the University of Central Lancashire helped me through the news report exam.”

Benjamin, who studied at Press Association Training in Newcastle, was praised by the examiners for his newspaper practice paper.

The examiners said: “Benjamin followed up a strong law answer with two good Part B answers which were both realistic in their approach and had a well-worked out strategy for both newspaper and digital coverage. He was a worthy winner.”

Thomas Jennings, who won the award for the news interview exam, completed his training at Warwickshire College before joining the Oxford Mail.

The examiners said: “Thomas’ story had a good intro and then an easy chronology which took the reader through the drama of the story. His copy was clean and accurate. He used good, strong quotes well which added to the pace.”