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Regional journalist turned press officer honoured for NQJ performance

Abigail WeavingA regional journalist turned press officer has been honoured for her performance during her senior reporting exams.

Abigail Weaving has won the Paul Durrant Award, which is presented annually to a newly-qualified journalist working on a newspaper in the East of England for their performance in the National Qualification in Journalism exams.

Abigail, pictured, won £250 for her results, which she achieved while working at the Saffron Walden Reporter.

She has since left the newspaper to work as a press and PR officer for the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The award, sponsored by Archant, was launched in 2015 in honour of Paul Durrant, former assistant editor of the Eastern Daily Press and NCTJ journalism trainer.

Paul died in 2016 at the age of 63 following a battle with cancer.

Of her win, Abigail said: “Winning this award was a wonderful surprise – I couldn’t quite believe it when I found out. I have very fond memories of my time studying for both my NCTJ and NQJ, so this really was the cherry on the cake.”

She added: “I loved working in a newsroom, but have now moved to a press officer role in London. I’m still very much a journalist at heart though, and make sure to use my shorthand every day without fail.”

Ian Clarke, head of news for the EDP and Norwich Evening News, said: “Paul Durrant was a brilliant newsman and relentlessly passionate about ensuring the next generation of young journalists were well trained and inspired.

“Duzza – as so many people knew him – worked tirelessly within Archant and across the newspaper industry as a champion for improving standards. We want to continue to honour his invaluable work and are delighted to support the award in his memory.”


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  • January 10, 2018 at 9:44 am

    While I can hardly blame Abigail for going into PR, our profession can ill-afford to lose people of her calibre…

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  • January 10, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Well done Abigail. But it is a sad reflection on our trade that she obviously feels there is no future in it. Sadly, a wise choice and we have lost a potentially excellent reporter.

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  • January 10, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Says it all, really, doesn’t it? Newly qualified as a journalist and already she’s realised there’s no future in the industry.

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