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News Associates named top journalism course with 100pc pass rate

The multimedia sports journalism course at News Associates London was last night named the best performing  NCTJ-accredited course in the UK after achieving a 100pc gold standard pass rate.

Awards for the top journalism courses and the best performing students were handed out during an awards dinner held at the Library of Birmingham as part of this uear’s Journalism Skills Conference.

The journalism courses were presented with awards for the highest percentage of students achieving the NCTJ gold standard: A-C grade passes in all exams plus 100 words per minute shorthand.

It was a double success for News Associates London, who were also awarded the best performing independent fast-track course for their multimedia journalism course.

James Toney and Rachel Bull of News Associates (centre) receive their award from NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher (left) and BBC presenter Nick Owen.

James Toney and Rachel Bull of News Associates (centre) receive their award from NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher (left) and BBC presenter Nick Owen.

The student journalist of the year prize also went to a former News Associates London student, George Gigney, who was funded by the Journalism Diversity Fund.

George, who now writes for Boxing News, achieved the highest marks across all his exams as well as 120wpm in shorthand.

Awards host BBC Midlands Today presenter Nick Owen congratulated all the winners, saying: “Behind the success of each of those students will be a team of dedicated trainers and educators.

“All of those who teach on accredited courses should be congratulated on achieving the high standards the NCTJ sets on behalf of the industry.”

The evening also saw the presentation of the inaugural Paul Durrant Award for the best-performing trainee in the East of England, named in honour of the former Eastern Daily Press newsman who has terminal cancer.

EDP editor Nigel Pickover presented the award to Charlotte Austen-Hardy of the Chelmsford Weekly News.

The full list of winners was as follows.

Course performance awards

Best course – News Associates London (multimedia sports journalism)

Fast track independent – News Associates London (multimedia journalism)

Further education fast track – Highbury College

Academic year – City of Wolverhampton College

Higher education postgraduate – University of Sussex

Higher education undergraduate – Nottingham Trent University

NCTJ Awards for Excellence

News journalism (students): Andre-Rhoden Paul, University of Sheffield

News journalism (trainees): Henry Holloway,The Argus

Sports journalism (students): Michel Steward, St Mary’s University

Sports journalism (trainees): Nemesha Balasundaram, Irish Post

Scoop/exclusive (students): Leonie Chao Fong, News Associates London

Scoop/exclusive (trainees): Jordan Bluer, Dover Express

Features of the year (students): Catrina Cochrane, Glasgow Clyde College

Features of the year (trainees): Naomi Firsht, Jewish Chronicle

Multimedia story/campaign of the year (students): Sophie Grubb, University of Sheffield

Multimedia story/campaign of the year (trainees): Sophie Mei Lan Slack, BBC Journalism Trainee Scheme

Student project of the year: The North Crowd, Teesside University

Other Awards

NCTJ student journalist of the year: George Gigney, News Associates/Boxing News

Trainee journalist of the year: Katie Dickinson, Westmorland Gazette

Apprentice of the year: Dan Wright, KM Group

Paul Durrant Award: Charlotte Austen-Hardy, Chelmsford Weekly News

Chairman’s Award: Sue Green, City of Wolverhampton College