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New senior journalist scoops second award in a year

Conor MatchettA newly-qualified senior journalist has scooped his second prize from the National Council for the Training of Journalists in the past year.

Conor Matchett, of the Edinburgh Evening News, has won the media law and ethics in practice award for his “exceptional” performance in the National Qualification in Journalism examination.

The other winners for 2019-20 were the Helensburgh Advertiser’s Ross Hanvidge, who won the Newsquest e-logbook award, and the Oxford Mail’s James Roberts, who won the Esso practical journalism skills award.

Conor, pictured above left, also won the NCTJ trainee top scoop award in 2019.

Conor, who completed his diploma with PA Training, said: “This comes as a huge surprise, but I am over the moon to receive this award.

“Studying Scots law for the NQJ exam after sitting English law in my diploma was a huge challenge which meant almost starting from scratch in terms of my legal knowledge, but this award makes the hard graft more than worthwhile.

“Thank you to everyone at the Edinburgh Evening News and JPIMedia for your support, thank you to those who taught me while I was studying for my diploma with PA Training, and thank you to my long-suffering flatmate who spent many weeks answering oddly specific defamation law questions as part of my revision.”

Julian Darrall, managing director at award sponsor Reviewed & Cleared, said: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with the NCTJ by sponsoring this important award again this year.

“Having a good grasp of the key legal and regulatory principles, and knowing when to seek expert legal guidance, are essential tools for every journalist setting out to produce courageous but responsible content. Well done Conor.”

Ross HanvidgeRoss, pictured left, was praised by the moderator for his excellent logbook which ‘gained high marks due to a number of impressive elements’.

The Glasgow Caledonian University graduate said: “I’m delighted – and shocked – to receive this award.

“While it was obviously a huge relief to pass my NQJ, the logbook was very much a labour of love featuring real human-interest stories which were important to the communities I cover.

“I genuinely enjoy my job and feel very fortunate to have been given an opportunity in a tough industry.

“I’m looking forward to, hopefully, many more successful years in my role.”

James RobertsJames, pictured left, who won the practical journalism skills award for the big news story exam, was described by the moderator as having “demonstrated skills across the board as a journalist”.

James, who completed his Diploma in Journalism with News Associates London, said: “So many talented journalists sat this exam, so I’m incredibly proud to win the award. It’s a real honour and I’m delighted at the achievement.”

Each winner receives a certificate and a prize of £750.