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November NQJ: Journalist’s paper was ‘joy to mark’

A journalist who produced an exam paper which was a “joy to mark” has been awarded a prize after qualifying as a senior.

Lizzie Dearden from the Ilford Recorder won the Ted Bottomley Award for her media law and practice exam in the latest National Qualification in Journalism, which had an overall pass rate of 62pc.

Judges said Lizzie displayed a “excellent grasp of the law” and her ethics answer was “near-perfect”.

She was one of four newly-qualified senior journalists to be awarded a prize by the National Council for the Training of Journalists for producing the best papers in the four sections of the NQJ, with each winning £250.

In praising Lizzie, the judges said: “This paper was a joy to mark, not only for the knowledge displayed but also for the crisp and easy-to-follow writing style.

“The winner showed an excellent grasp of the law and how it applied to the scenarios posed in the exam questions. When it came to the ethics question, the candidate produced a near-perfect answer that was well-argued, with sensible and workable decisions.”

The other journalists who won prizes for their top answers were Emma Rigby from the Wirral Globe, Ramzy Alwakeel from the Romford Recorder and Jonathon Taylor from the Western Gazette.

Emma won the Esso Award for the news report exam and judges said she provided accurate content that was easy to understand.

They said: “The candidate delivered accurate content to the reader in an informative and easy to understand report. Part B was well thought through and demonstrated the candidates’ ability to think through all aspects of news coverage.”

Ramzy won the Society of Editors’ Award for his news interview exam paper, which judges described as a “very readable piece”.

Said the judges: “Ramzy’s story was precise, concise and accurate. He had good linking paragraphs, a great use of colour and captured the drama of the incident. A very readable piece.”

Jonathon achieved the Newsquest award for the best logbook, which judges said showed that he was “clearly a competent member of the newsroom”.

They said: “Overall Jonathon produced a high scoring logbook with a number of particularly strong key tasks.

“His news backgrounder submissions clearly demonstrated both dedication and personal passion and his trainee’s choice submissions were very well written and scored highly. Jonathon is clearly a competent member of the newsroom and a deserved overall winner.”