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July NQJ: Reporter wins award for ‘joy of a script’ law exam

Imogen Blake

A reporter who wrote a “joy of a script” in a law exam has won an award after achieving senior status.

Imogen Blake, left, from the Ham & High was awarded the Ted Bottomley Award for her media law and practice exam in the National Qualification in Journalism which was sat in July.

She was one of four candidates to be awarded a prize of £250 each for achieving the top results in each section of the NQJ exams.

The other prize-winners were Sarah Robinson of the Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury, Rob Lowson of Bradford’s Telegraph & Argus and Joanna Morris of The Northern Echo.

Praising Imogen’s law paper, examiners said: “This was a joy of a script. Imogen used bullet points to answer the questions, which were well written and easy for the examiner to mark.

“There were no weak parts to her answers, which showed not only good knowledge of the law and ethics but also how they related to the scenarios and practical ways of dealing with the problems thrown up.

“Her first answer was just one mark short of the maximum available and the other two both scored highly. Congratulations.”

Imogen said: “I was ecstatic to pass my seniors – I quite literally jumped for joy in the newsroom! I was even more delighted when I found out I had won an award for my media law paper. I never expected it.

“I’d like to thank all my wonderful colleagues for their support throughout my preparation for the exams.”

Rob Lowson

Rob, left, won the Society of Editors’ Award for his news interview paper and examiners said he produced “a very good story”.

They said: “His introduction captured the drama straight away and he followed with a readable chronology of the events.

“His story flowed very well and he continued the drama without using too many adjectives. The copy was backed up with some key quotes which enhanced the story. Well done.”

Said Rob: “Working on a news patch as busy as Bradford, I have been lucky enough to tackle a vast array of different stories, and I have the opportunity to speak to a diverse range of people on a daily basis. This has really helped me to hone and adapt my interview technique.

“I would like to thank the Society of Editors for the award, which I am thrilled about receiving. It is testimony to the hard work I put in prior to the exams, and the support I received from my colleagues at the Telegraph & Argus.”

Joanna Morris

Joanna, left, was praised for an “excellent logbook” with some “very strong stories” in winning the Newsquest award for that part of the NQJ.

Examiners said: “This was an excellent logbook and one which was memorable for some quite engrossing reporting.

“A number of key tasks attracted maximum marks including human interest, family events and inquiries/tribunals and it is not hard to see why they were rewarded so richly.

“Along with some very strong stories, this logbook also features some excellent writing, none more so than the recollection of a traumatic personal experience recalled some years later. Joanna is a worthy winner of the award.”

Joanna, who was previously a trainee winner in the 2013 NCTJ Awards for Excellence, said: “I’m so pleased to have been given the opportunities that led to me receiving this accolade.

“My time as a trainee working for The Northern Echo has been invaluable and I’ve loved the experience so far. Getting the chance to hear people’s stories, to meet weird and wonderful characters and to get an insight into the communities we serve has been a privilege.

“It has proved to me beyond doubt that there is still a place for traditional, ethical journalism amidst the changes and challenges of the digital age.”

Sarah won the Esso Award for her news report and was praised as “a deserving winner”.

The examiners said: “Sarah managed to keep a complicated story simple and produced an easy-to-read story containing all the relevant facts, interspersed with accurate quotes.

“Part B was tackled in a thorough way with excellent ideas provided for developing the story. A deserving winner of this award.”

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  • August 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Very well done and congratulations to our own Imogen and to all the other award winners for their outstanding achievements in the very pressurised environment of the exam room… great to see that high journalistic standards are still being achieved and often exceeded by the new batch of reporters coming through the system.

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