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Reporter’s perfect shorthand exam scoops editors’ prize

A reporter for Media Wales has won a prize from the Society of Editors for the best shorthand exam after his transcription was marked 100pc accurate at 100wpm.

Liam Moffett, a former student of the Press Association course at Newcastle, was announced as the prizewinner at this week’s annual shorthand seminar organised by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

The 20-year-old, who was awarded a cheque for £250 and a certificate, received a Journalism Diversity Fund bursary to study his NCTJ-accredited course from January to May 2013.

He said: “It feels amazing to have won the shorthand prize and I was taken aback by winning the award. I know I might be in a minority here but I loved learning shorthand. It did come naturally to me and I felt I gave it a good go.”

Liam, pictured above, also said he found shorthand “incredibly useful” at work for “bread and butter journalism” such as court, council and inquests.

He added: “All my colleagues use their own form of shorthand. My editors have said on numerous occasions that they value good, accurate note taking so I don’t think shorthand will die out for a long time.”

Commenting on Liam’s success, Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell said: “Many congratulations to Liam. Shorthand is a key skill for any journalist in any part of the media.

“Why would anyone not want to have this vital tool at their fingertips whether they are working in print, online or broadcasting?”

The shorthand seminar, held at The Wesley, London, provided an opportunity to discuss a range of shorthand-related topics.

Giving the keynote address at the seminar, Archant London editorial director Laura Adams said shorthand remains important in the digital world and is a skill that all aspiring journalists need.

Said Laura:  “All journalists need their shorthand. Shorthand gives you the confidence to tell the story and acts as a platform to create the best work.”

Laura, who completed her training at Cardiff School of Journalism, achieved 140 words per minute at one stage of her career.