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Students sit new multiple-choice journalism ethics exam for first time

NCTJ-logo-final-RGB-e1357555115357Students on two journalism training courses have been the first to sit a new multiple-choice test on press ethics.

The assessment features in the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ updated diploma in journalism, and comprises 10 multiple-choice questions to be answered over the course of half an hour.

The randomly-selected questions are based on the Independent Press Standards Organisation’s Editors’ Code of Practice, rulings and resolutions made by IPSO under the terms of the code, and on IPSO itself, including powers, remit, constitution and funding.

A total of 31 students – 19 at News Associates London and 12 at the City of Liverpool College – sat the exam, which is mandatory for all NCTJ students unless they are studying broadcast journalism.

Rachel Bull, head of journalism training at News Associates, said: “We were delighted to host the first-ever newspaper and magazine regulation test and the technology behind the new online system passed off without a hitch.

“The teaching of journalism ethics is rightly a core part of the syllabus and this new way of examining knowledge is a welcome addition to the Diploma in Journalism.”

Students must score full marks on the test to receive an A grade.

Alice Gregory, City of Liverpool College head of journalism, said: “The IPSO questions are good because they are based on real-life scenarios and the students have to apply their knowledge in context. Having the questions randomised is also good – especially if a re-sit is required.”

Discussing the reasoning behind the new regulation test, Steve Nelson, chief examiner, said: “Now more than ever before it is essential that journalism students have a good grasp of ethics and how regulation effects their reporting.

“We believe this is a challenging test of their knowledge. The multiple choice format ensures that the candidate will have to consider more than one problem at a time.”