Fewer than half of sitting trainees qualified as senior journalists following the latest round of exams – marking the lowest pass rate since the National Qualification in Journalism was introduced five years ago.
The National Council for the Training of Journalists has revealed 47pc of the 36 candidates who sat the NQJ in July achieved the qualification.
It follows a previous low pass rate recorded at the previous round of sittings in March this year, when 55pc of the 42 candidates taking the exams were successful.
Of the 36 candidates who sat the July exams, 17 were successful in all four parts – media law and practice, news report, news interview and e-logbook.
For the fourth NQJ in a row, there was a 100pc pass rate for e-logbook, while there was an improved pass rate of 77pc in the media law and practice exam.
The media law exam tested defamation, contempt, absolute privilege, copyright law and some ethical elements, and the moderator described the responses as “a pleasing set of papers, with few outright failures and a couple of excellent papers”.
Of the e-logbooks, they added: “An excellent round of submissions showing that trainees have a clear grasp of what is required from the logbook key tasks.”
Poor shorthand was noted as an issue in both the news report and news interview exams, which produced pass rates of 47pc and 59pc respectively.
The moderator added: “There were some good pieces submitted by successful candidates who showed they understood the chronology of the story and also constructed their copy so it was readable and easy to follow, containing the drama, all the relevant facts, and backed up by strong quotes.”
The full list of successful candidates was as follows:
Luke Adams, Reading Chronicle
Tanzila Ali, Eastern Daily Press
Beth Baldwin, The Mail
Frances Berry, Herts Advertiser
Rebekah Chilvers, Lynn News
Isabella Cipirska, Worthing Herald
Rachael Dodd, Plymouth Herald
Reece Hanson, The Mail
Aimee Jones, Shropshire Star
Jack Marshall, Burnley Express
Holly O’Flinn, Lincolnshire Echo
Rosalyn Roden, Bury Times
Kirstie Smith, Leamington Spa Courier
Megan Titley, Lancashire Post
Keri Trigg, Shropshire Star
Chloe Marie West, Louth Leader
Stephen Wynn-Davies, Worthing Herald
The next NQJ exam will take place on Friday 2 November 2018, and the closing date for enrolment is Friday 21 September.