A Manchester-based journalism training centre scooped the top award at last night’s National Council for the Training of Journalists performance awards in Bournemouth.
News Associates Manchester’s Multimedia Journalism Course was named the UK’s top-performing course after 88% of students reached the industry ‘gold’ standard of passing all modules, including 100wpm shorthand.
“To be named the UK’s top NCTJ journalism school for the second time is a tremendous honour for News Associates and a spectacular achievement by our trainees and our staff,” said James Toney, News Associates board director.
In addition to the centre’s success at the Journalism Skills Conference former News Associates trainees Ellie Ross and James Coldwell were named student and trainee news reporters of the year and Thomas Allnut won trainee sports journalist.
PROUD: Head of journalism Andrew Greaves with ITV’s Mark Austin
The prize of NCTJ reporter of the year went to Lauren Potts, from the Pontefract & Castleford Express, who passed the NQJ in November 2012 with the highest marks in the country during the year.
Lauren said: “It’s a privilege to be given such a prestigious award and it was the last thing I expected.
“It’s made all those nights sitting with McNae’s in the run-up to the exams worth it!”
News Associates course director Richard Parsons paid tribute to the success of their former trainees.
“It’s great that we were honoured for having the best exam results but the results of the Awards for Excellence in Journalism made us just as proud,” he said.
“We want our trainees to be deliver gold standard results in the classroom but we also want them to deliver in the newsroom and we’re very proud of a graduate job record we believe is unrivalled.
“Last year we were delighted that four of our former trainees won awards. To match that achievement this year is a spectacular achievement but the pressure is now on the classes of 2013/2014 to deliver again.”
NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “All our accredited course providers should be congratulated on achieving the high standards the industry expects.
“It is no mean feat to achieve accreditation and to make the public commitment to providing all the NCTJ requires.
“We know how demanding and exacting that standard is and the public scrutiny it involves for the courses we accredit.”