First students sit new online multiple choice regulation test

Students at the City of Liverpool College and News Associates London are the first to sit the new newspaper and magazine regulation test which forms part of the essential journalism ethics and regulation module.   

A new assessment in the updated Diploma in Journalism, the 30-minute online regulation test has ten multiple-choice questions based on the Editors’ Code of Practice, rulings and resolutions made by IPSO under the terms of the code, and on IPSO itself, including powers, remit, constitution and funding.

Students answer ten randomly-selected questions from a question bank on the NCTJ’s online exam portal. Immediately after completing the test, the portal informs the student of their score.

To achieve an A grade students must score full marks.

The test is mandatory for all students unless they are studying broadcast journalism; these students sit the broadcast regulation exam. Those on multimedia courses can sit both assessments.

19 News Associates students and 12 Liverpool College students took the exam. Head of journalism training at News Associates, Rachel Bull said: “We were delighted to host the first-ever newspaper and magazine regulation test and the technology behind the new online system passed off without a hitch. The teaching of journalism ethics is rightly a core part of the syllabus and this new way of examining knowledge is a welcome addition to the Diploma in Journalism."

Alice Gregory, City of Liverpool College head of journalism, said: "Having the exam in the safe browser took longer to set up but now we have done it once it will be much easier next time. There were a few teething problems with the software at our end but the NCTJ were on hand and helped us get it sorted so the actual exam was really straightforward.

"The IPSO questions are good because they are based on real-life scenarios and the students have to apply their knowledge in context. Having the questions randomised is also good - especially if a re-sit is required."

City of Liverpool College student rep, Jennifer Jones, said after taking the exam: “The browser ran smoothly and the randomisation of the questions was challenging, but overall it has proven to be an effective system for testing people's knowledge.”

Discussing the reasoning behind the new regulation test, Steve Nelson, chief examiner, said: “Now more than ever before it is essential that journalism students have a good grasp of ethics and how regulation effects their reporting. We believe this is a challenging test of their knowledge. The multiple choice format ensures that the candidate will have to consider more than one problem at a time.”

Below are two questions in the mock tests. Do you know the answers?

Q1: A man who narrowly survived death in an aircraft crash is being treated in hospital. His family invite you to come at visiting time and interview him. He has agreed to talk to you. What should you do?

A) Seek permission to enter the hospital from a responsible executive.

B) Go straight in with the family.

C) Talk to the man in a corridor, not on the ward.

D) Tell the ward’s nurse what you are going to do as you go to the man’s bed.

Q2: Your local MP has campaigned vigorously for tougher penalties on people who drive while using a mobile phone calling for prison sentences for repeat offenders. You are in court and see the MP in the public gallery. His wife is being prosecuted for a third time for using a mobile phone while driving. Can you link the MP to the case?

A) Yes. There is nothing to prohibit you linking relatives to those convicted of crime.

B) No. It will cause the MP great embarrassment.

C) Yes.  This is a relevant fact because of the MP’s campaign against people driving while using a mobile phone.

D) No. You cannot link relatives with people convicted of crime.

The NCTJ exams portal is provided by Cirrus Assessment, the next generation in e-Assessments. It is cloud-based and designed to be reliable, easy to use and up-to-date.

Answers here.