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Journalism college taken over by its teaching staff

BJWA group of journalism tutors have taken over a journalism training college in what is believed to be a UK first.

Five tutors have taken the helm at Brighton Journalist Works – the first time a National Council for Training of Journalists (NCTJ) accredited centre has been run by its teaching staff.

The new company will be launching its September courses in recently acquired premises in central Brighton – Vantage Point, a media hub based opposite the Preston Circus fire station.

In January this year BJW faced an investigation over “malpractice” in shorthand exams which had led to the NCTJ suspending its accreditation at the centre.

However, it was restored after the organisation praised BJW for taking swift action to remedy the issue.

The new BJW team is headed up by managing director Richard Lindfield, who also serves as weekend news editor at Heart FM in Sussex.

He said: “Our aim is to continue providing the same top-class training students at Brighton Journalist Works have received over the past ten years.

“We also recognize we have to equip our students with the tools to meet the challenges of journalism in a digital age. Our training will combine the core, traditional skills with the future skills needed as students start out on their careers.”

The BJW is also moving to a new premises in the centre of Brighton at Vantage Point, a media hub based opposite the Preston Circus fire station.

It will be based next to the offices of the Brighton and Hove Independent, which was bought 12 months ago by Johnston Press. The college was previously based at the University of Sussex, in Falmer.

Richard added: “Vantage Point is the perfect location. It is within walking distance of the three railway stations in the city and on many of the major bus routes.

“Students will be ideally placed to go out and get stories in the city centre, and we’ll be the first to know when there’s a major fire.”

Departing MD Paula O’Shea said: “The success of Journalist Works has always been largely down to our tutors; an inspirational, talented and knowledgeable bunch.

“We are thrilled they have decided to take over running the joint too and have assured them of our support in the future.”