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Axed press photography course to be revived this autumn

A long-standing press photography course which was axed due to a lack of interest last year is set to be revived in September with a move to a new centre.

The flagship NCTJ press photography course at Sheffield College, which was the last remaining accredited course for specialist photographers, was scrapped last year after only five people applied for it.

The course had started the careers of hundreds of photographers and was run by Paul Delmar for 30 years until 2010.

Now it is set to be restored when the college’s Norton centre closes this summer and the journalism courses are moved to a new multi-million pound base at its Hillsborough site.

An image showing how the Hillsborough College extension will look. Pic by Race Cottam Architects.

An image showing how the Hillsborough College extension will look. Pic by Race Cottam Architects.

Paul said he was “delighted” that the course was going to be run again and said he hoped the Hillsborough campus would become a new home for it.

He said: “I am very happy that the course will continue but I am not happy about the lack of continuity because it doesn’t give the faith in it.”

Paul said that press photographers had been through a “traumatic time”, with many of them culled by newspaper companies who did not realise that they could write stories as well.

The new Hillsborough building, which will be called the Centre for Creative Industries, will include a fully equipped newsroom with Mac computers, broadcast industry standard TV studio, purpose-built radio booth, and a creative arts hub.

Sheffield college took over the Norton centre in 1992 and has run NCTJ journalism courses there since then, but its facilities are dated.

When the photography course was shelved last year, college bosses said it would be restored with the move to Hillsborough and applicants are currently in the process of being interviewed.

After the course was cancelled, concerns were raised about training for press photographers at the Journalism Skills Conference last November in Sheffield.

At the time, Derby Telegraph editor Neil White said there was still a need for qualified specialist photographers in newsrooms.

Head of department Matthew Neale said: “We are very excited about our move to Hillsborough and the fantastic new multi-media facilities our journalism students will benefit from.

“We have a long-standing reputation as a centre of excellence for teaching journalism and our new media hub, together with high quality teaching, will prepare students for the modern newsroom.”

The NCTJ photographic course in Sheffield began in 1979 and was run uninterrupted at Norton and its predecessors Stradbroke and Richmond since then, until last September.

Journalism courses currently run by the Norton centre are the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism and NCTJ Journalism Advanced Apprenticeship Level 3.

The college is also planning to deliver its own BA (Hons) in journalism, which is expected to start in September 2016.

The main entrance to the Hillsborough campus.

The main entrance to the Hillsborough campus.

6 comments

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  • May 7, 2015 at 8:29 am
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    Bert Johnson will be turning in his grave!!!
    Wednesbury 77-78.

    Happy Days!!!

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  • May 7, 2015 at 9:21 am
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    The skill of a qualified photographer was always admired, and often imitated. Infact the problem was out on a job when a pro would setup a group and everyone gathered around with camera phones and took it, uploading these to social media instantly. Soon managers realised there was a great breed of citizen journalists out there and laid off the people actually responsible for the original image instead. I say we tighten plagiarism laws to stop these stealers. We can’t have a future where photos are not archived and the relevant rights to facebook pics are not owned by newspapers. Imagine if everyone who had their submitted pic published then had the right to invoice for it (as they are allowed to do), the industry would be bankrupt overnight.

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  • May 7, 2015 at 10:36 am
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    You don’t need an NTCJ, just a good portfolio and the gift of the gab in the interview. Although good luck getting a job in the era of job cuts

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  • May 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm
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    Is this an indication the industry is wanting the skills of a photographer once again? I hope so, a skilled photographer is a must for a quality newspaper/magazine. I hope the crap UGC content is slowly dying out?…..

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  • May 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm
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    Sadly the industry is only prepared to pay if there is no UGC available or a journalist armed with an iPhone is not sufficient. Pictures are only appreciated when they are for free it would seem but the problem is why would a reader pay for poorly taken photos when they can also get them free?

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  • May 7, 2015 at 9:57 pm
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    I’m hoping this indication that the industry is moving towards a desire for photographers once more. I’ve always been mildly interested in photography, but recently i got the Trick Photography and Special Effects book (which is INSANELY esteemed by the way, check out the reviews http://steamspoils.com/trick-photography-and-special-effects-review/ ) and now I’m going to take my photography to the next level. The key, I believe, is having meaning in what you want to photograph and a goal to accomplish through the display of it regardless of how cheap or expensive your equipment is.

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