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November NQJ: What the examiners said

The pass rate for the journalism seniors’ exam continues to rise – but the examiners nevertheless expressed some concerns in their detailed report on the exam.

Here’s a summary of how the candidates performed in each section and what the examiners said.

Media law and practice

Candidates: 61
Passed: 47
Pass rate: 77pc

Examiners said candidates had shown “a good grasp of the law and how it affects their working life.”

However, despite the high pass rate, there was some cause for concern with how the compulsory ethics question was tackled.

“It is evident that quite a number of candidates did not give themselves enough time in which to tackle this question. Answers appeared rushed and superficial,” said the examiners’ report.

On the positive side, there were some good answers to the law questions with most candidates being aware of the impact of the Defamation Act 2013.

News report

Candidates: 69
Passed: 47
Pass rate: 68pc

The news report was based on follow up to a major fire on Sandhavon Pier, with details of both the cause of the fire and restoration plans by the owner, Petersen Leisure.

Examiners said that although there were some “punchy intros,” several candidates mis-spelled either the name of the pier or the name of the leisure company.

“In an exam where every mark counts, candidates can easily avoid careless mistakes of this kind by checking their work for basic errors.” said the report.

Too many candidates did not use the opportunity to take the story forward with their illustrative ideas, phone calls and follow-up ideas. ”

News interview

Candidates: 65
Passed: 53
Pass rate: 82pc

The news interview was based around armed raiders entering a house and threatening an engaged couple, a three-year-old boy and a pregnant woman

Examiners said there was a lot of detail and drama in the stories submitted and many candidates coped well with the chronology of the story.

“Overall, there were some good exam scripts submitted which is reflected in the percentage pass rate for this section,” the report.

However the examiners questioned the use of what they described as “unacceptable” phrases such as “heartless brutes” and “loot.”


Candidates: 54
Passed: 54
Pass rate: 100pc

Examiners praised another “excellent sitting” for logbook submissions with candidates showing a firm grasp of the requirements of the key tasks

“Few areas have caused any issues, and it is pleasing to note that the social media and additional trainee’s choice key tasks have been readily accepted by those taking part,” said the report.