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Proportion of journalism students achieving industry ‘gold standard’ increases

The proportion of journalism students achieving industry ‘gold standard’ examination grades has increased, it has been revealed.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has announced 71pc of students sitting its Diploma in Journalism achieved the industry ‘gold standard’ A-C grades, compared with 66pc the previous year.

Ninety-six per cent of candidates achieved A-E grades in 2019-20, compared with 94 per cent in 2018-19.

In its annual quality assurance and standards committee reports for 2019-20, the NCTJ also revealed 1,167 100 words per minute shorthand exams were sat over the course of the year.

This year's award winners of Diploma in Journalism performance

This year’s award winners of Diploma in Journalism performance

The pass rate for those exams was 24pc, the same as the previous year.

Between May and October the NCTJ delivered approximately 4,842 exams in total, most of which were delivered remotely due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

In the report, the NCTJ’s principal examiner Amanda Ball praised the efforts of students, centres and the NCTJ during what has been “the most challenging of years in education and training”.

She said: “Standards appear to be unaffected, with the proportion of candidates attaining a ‘gold standard’ A-C pass in most subjects remaining very similar to the previous year. In some subjects there were notable increases in the pass rate.”

Amanda added: “The platforms and procedures the NCTJ has put in place for remote delivery protect the integrity of the assessments and the reliability and validity of the assessment results, whilst giving candidates a much-needed opportunity to achieve their qualification without further delay.”

Twelve candidates have also been rewarded for achieving the best results on the diploma course during 2019-20.

Each diploma award winner will receive a certificate and a cheque for £250 from the award sponsor to recognise their outstanding exam results.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “The talent on this year’s list of award winners deserve extra special recognition for their exceptional performance, achieved during their studies in a global pandemic.

“Passing with gold standard is challenging enough during the best of times; getting high percentage A grades and top shorthand speeds is a remarkable achievement in such difficult circumstances.

“We are fortunate to have the support of a fantastic range of award sponsors who allow us to recognise and reward the achievements of those who have done so well in their exams. Many thanks to them and congratulations to all the award winners.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

The Archant essential journalism award
Ellen Halliday, News Associates London

The Oxford University Press essential media law award
Melanie Rawson, University of Sheffield

The JPIMedia media law: court reporting award
Ines Fernandes Louro Santos, University of Sheffield

The Oxford University Press public affairs award
Sraddha Sabu, University of Sheffield

The Society of Editors shorthand award (100wpm)
Calum Johnson, University of Salford

The Sky Sports News shorthand award (120wpm)
Charlie Moloney, PA Training

The ITV News broadcast journalism award
Jacob Ottaway, University of Essex

The Facebook editing skills for journalists’ award
Hannah Voak, distance learner

The Mark Allen Group business of magazines award
Eve Jarvis, Glasgow Caledonian University

The Archant videojournalism award
Kelham Hilton, University of Salford

The Premier League sports journalism award
James Martin, PA Training

The Reach journalism for a digital audience award
Catriona Aitken, Cardiff University