The top trainee and student journalists of the last 12 months were honoured at an annual awards ceremony last night.
The National Council for the Training of Journalists handed out its Awards for Excellence as part of its Journalism Skills Conference in Portsmouth.
More than 40 journalists representing 13 categories attended the awards dinner, which was hosted by BBC deputy political editor, John Pienaar, at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum.
In total there were more than 230 submissions to the Awards for Excellence. Student entries were produced during an NCTJ-accredited course or distance learning course.
Sara Oldfield,who studied at News Associates London, was named Student Journalist of the Year.
Sara achieved the highest marks across all her exams as well as 110wpm in shorthand. Sara is now digital editor of Fabulous, The Sun’s weekly women’s supplement.
Trainee journalist of the year was Charlotte Tobitt, of the Surrey Advertiser, who passed her NQJ in November 2015 with the highest marks out of all UK candidates.
Charlotte won the Ted Bottomley award for her performance in the media law and practice exam, as well as the Esso award for the best performance in the news report exam.
North West Evening Mail reporter Alex Grove won the student news journalism award for work undertaken while studying at the University of Sheffield, while the Swindon Advertiser’s Chris Humphreys won the trainee news journalism award.
Paul Jones, head of diploma training at Press Association Training, was also honoured with the 2016 NCTJ chairman’s award for his outstanding contribution to journalism training and education.
During the presentation, Kim praised Paul, a former Newcastle Chronicle industrial editor, as “a very special person who is a first-class trainer. He has made an enormous contribution to journalism training over many years.”
Paul currently runs the PA Training course in Newcastle which is due to close at the end of the year.
The NCTJ’s best performing courses were also honoured, with the City of Wolverhampton College continuing its five-year streak as best performing further education course.
News Associates Manchester scored a double, winning best performing overall course for its multimedia sports journalism course and best performing independent fast-track course.
The full list of winners and commendations is as follows:
Student news journalism:
Winner – Alex Grove, University of Sheffield
Highly commended – Sophie Halle-Richards, University of Sheffield
Trainee news journalism:
Winner – Chris Humphreys, Swindon Advertiser
Highly commended – Thomas Mackintosh, Crawley News
Student sports journalism:
Winner – Richard Amofa, News Associates London
Highly commended – Luke Bidwell, University of Sunderland
Trainee sports journalism:
Winner – Ross Lawson, Sportsbeat
Highly commended – Will Kelleher, Scottish Daily Mail
Winner – Gareth Evans, University of Sheffield
Highly commended – Oscar Lopez-Gibson, NCTJ distance learner
Winner – Rosy Cherrington, The Huffington Post
Highly commended – Michael Steward, Saffron Walden Reporter
Student top scoop/exclusive:
Winner – Lucy Pasha-Robinson, News Associates London
Highly commended – Ross Kempsell, News Associates London
Trainee top scoop/exclusive:
Winner – Shanti Das, South West News Service
Highly commended – Chloe Farand, Ilford Recorder and Romford Recorder
Student multimedia story/campaign:
Winner – Abi McDonald, University of Sheffield
Highly commended – Rebecca Marian Miller, Bournemouth University
Winner – Weird and Wonderful Subcultures, University of Sunderland
Highly commended – Bold, University of Sunderland
Apprentice of the year: Rachel Coburn, BBC
Student journalist of the year: Sara Oldfield, News Associates
Trainee journalist of the year: Charlotte Tobitt, Surrey Advertiser
Chairman’s award: Paul Jones