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Regional daily editor appointed to NCTJ board

A long-standing regional daily editor and the head of a journalism school have been appointed as new board members of the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Peter Barron, left, editor of The Northern Echo, and Colm Murphy, head of the media, film and journalism school at the University of Ulster, have been appointed as new directors of the NCTJ.

They have been selected to succeed board members Jan Lever, who is retiring as managing director of Newsquest Lancashire, and Ed Curran of Independent News and Media in Northern Ireland.

Peter has been involved in the regional press for 34 years and has been editor of The Northern Echo since 1999.

He said: “Training has played an important part in my career. It is something I’ve always been passionate about and I am delighted to be able to continue that area of interest by joining the NCTJ board of directors.

“These are challenging but exciting times to be coming into the profession and I hope I can use my experience to help ensure young journalists are well equipped for a rapidly changing media industry.”

Peter began his career as a trainee reporter on the Scunthorpe Telegraph in 1980 then returned to his native North-East as a reporter on the Echo in 1984.

Peter rose through the ranks at the Echo to become the paper’s news editor in 1990, and deputy editor in 1995 before taking on his first editorship at the Hartlepool Mail in 1997.

He returned to The Northern Echo as editor in 1999 and also runs training courses around the country for aspiring news editors.

Colm, left, began his journalism career in 1990 as a reporter then business editor on The Sunday Tribune, before working as a senior editor of Emerging Markets Data, followed by senior reporter on the Sunday Times.

He continues to work as an investigative documentary scriptwriter for RTE Factual.

In 2004, Colm joined the University of Ulster as director of the NCTJ-accredited journalism MA course, becoming subject leader in 2008 and head of school in 2010.

He has also updated the chapter on Northern Ireland law in the forthcoming 22nd edition of McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists.

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  • December 3, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Perhaps the new board members can answer the questions I posed on this site recently when the NCTJ said it would promote their courses to stop students signing up for ‘bogus courses’.

    To recap, the questions were:

    1. Where are the jobs for the students who do NCTJ courses ?

    2. The majority of NCTJ courses are preliminary qualifications that require some form or work experience and a proficiency test to complete the training to senior grade – how can students achieve this without a job ?

    3. Why do the NCTJ keep accrediting new courses when there are no jobs for the students ?

    4. How many NCTJ students actually get a job in the newspaper industry after completing a course ?

    5. How many students do the NCTJ train each year ?

    Reports from the recent NCTJ conference gave positive messages from the people who run the NCTJ and their training courses. Unfortunately the NCTJ do not appear to want to support this with data. Why ?

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