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Journalist wins prize for ‘exceptional’ exam answer

A journalist who produced a “quite exceptional” ethics answer in a new exam has won an award.

Connie Primmer from The Luton News won the Ted Bottomley Award for her media law and practice exam as part of the National Qualification for Journalists, with an answer which was described as close to perfect.

The judges said three candidates were considered for the award, which includes a prize of £250, but Connie was given it for a “quite exceptional ethics answer on top of first-rate law.”

They said: “Her approach to this question was sensitive and sensible, weighing up the problems, why there were issues and what should be done.

“These questions are unlikely to produce a perfect answer but Connie came very close. Congratulations!”

The media law and practice paper is a new part of the NQJ, replacing the previous newspaper practice paper.

Winners of the prizes for best papers in the March NQJ exam, clockwise from left: Timothy Harris, Connie Primmer, Victoria Prest and Daniel O'Brien.


Connie was one of four winners recognised by the National Council for the Training of Journalists for their performance in the March exams.

Other prizewinners for the best exam papers were Victoria Prest of the Ripon Gazette, Daniel O’Brien of the Barnet Press and Timothy Harris of the Aldershot News & Mail, all of who will be given £250.

Victoria won the Esso Award for her news report and judges praised her for a “well-written story with excellent selection of detail”.

They said: “In Part B, Victoria demonstrated a mature grasp of newsroom procedure, combined with news sense and a touch of flair.”

Daniel was presented with the Society of Editors’ Award for his news interview which was written in a “clear, simple style”.

The judges said: “His intro was strong followed by a good second paragraph which hooked the reader.

“The story flowed well and contained the “must-have” information the marker was looking for. The quotes were well used and the copy also captured the drama of the incident.”

Timothy won the prize for the best logbook, which is sponsored by Newsquest.

Judges said it was a “very well presented logbook with especially strong submissions in the courts and public events and family events sections”.

They said: “It also included a textbook entry for the often difficult numeracy key task. Safely written but with style, this was a good submission and contained key tasks that could be used as a good point of reference by future candidates.”