Archant to sponsor NCTJ shorthand award

Archant, the UK's largest independently-owned regional media business, is to sponsor the National Council for the Training of Journalists’ award for the best shorthand performance at 100 words per minute, underlining its commitment to quality journalism.

Each year the NCTJ presents an award to the student who delivers the best shorthand note and transcription at 100% accuracy in the 100wpm exam. This student receives a certificate and also a cheque for £250.

Shorthand is a key skill for journalists, who regularly need to take down notes quickly and accurately and cannot rely on recording devices. It is taught on all NCTJ-accredited courses and students are encouraged to achieve the gold standard of 100wpm.

The BBC Radio 4 programme Word of Mouth recently broadcast an episode on the history and use of shorthand that featured an interview with NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher. During the show Kim commented that “shorthand is as important as ever” partly because editors want their trainees to have it as it is such a useful tool for efficient reporting. This fact has been highlighted by Archant’s support.

Speaking about the announcement, NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “We are delighted that Archant is sponsoring this award. The NCTJ awards recognise exceptional students and it is fantastic that the largest independent regional media group in the UK is supporting young talent and high standards of performance in this way.”

Archant chief executive, Adrian Jeakings, said: “Fast and accurate note-taking and fact-gathering is a key skill for our reporters and helps to underpin the quality of our publications, which is paramount for our audience. We are therefore delighted to support this award.”

Archant is a community media company active in the fields of regional newspaper and magazine publishing, contract printing and internet communications. The company’s different divisions produce four regional daily newspapers and around 60 weekly titles with a combined circulation of 2.25 million copies each week, plus around 80 magazines and 180 websites.

Archant is a private company that can trace its roots back over 160 years. Its head office is in Norwich, as is its main printing facility and it has an annual turnover of £142 million.

The winning NCTJ student will receive the award from an Archant representative at the NCTJ’s Shorthand Seminar on 16 June in London.