ITV Anglia news chief to lead work on NCTJ broadcast qualifications

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has appointed Catherine Houlihan, head of news at ITV Anglia, as its first chairman and chief examiner for broadcast journalism.  She will work closely with the NCTJ’s broadcast consultant, Philip Harding.

Catherine will chair a new working group of broadcast journalism employers, educators and trainers which meets for the first time in November. The group will give advice on the production of a programme of study, to be written by Phil Harding, as well as the syllabus and assessments for the broadcast journalism option in the new NCTJ Diploma in Journalism.

Working with the NCTJ’s team of chief examiners, Catherine will also be a member of the Journalism Qualifications Board and will outline her plans at the Journalism Skills Conference in Cardiff on 3 December.

NCTJ-qualified, Catherine started her career in journalism as a cub reporter with the Derby Evening Telegraph and also trained at Darlington College. She went on to work for the Oxford Mail and UK News before moving into television as a producer for ITN.

During her 12 years at ITN Catherine worked in a number of different departments including Westminster, Five News, London Tonight and ITV News – her last few years there spent as programme editor for several outlets.

Catherine moved into ITV Regional News in 2007 when she took up the post of head of news at ITV Border.  Her portfolio there expanded to take in the head of news role for ITV Tyne Tees and Catherine oversaw a major restructure of both news services in 2008/9.

She became head of news for ITN Anglia in November 2009.

Catherine said: “The NCTJ gave me the solid grounding in journalism and set the high standards which have helped me throughout my career, so I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to give something back.

“Young people entering the industry now expect a broad training across all platforms. Our intention is to ensure that the journalists of tomorrow are equipped with industry-standard knowledge of all aspects of broadcasting as well as the solid values and standards of traditional journalism at its finest.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking and exciting project.”

Phil Harding is a journalist, broadcaster and media consultant. Previously he was an award-winning producer, editor and senior executive at the BBC.  His work for the NCTJ has previously involved writing the broadcast compliance and regulatory elements in the media law programme of study for the diploma.

At the BBC, Phil held a wide variety of senior editorial jobs. He was director of English networks and news for the World Service, controller of editorial policy (responsible for the editorial standards of all BBC output and for writing the BBC’s editorial guidelines), editor of the Today programme on Radio 4, chief political advisor, editor of news programmes at Radio Five Live and deputy editor of Panorama.

He now broadcasts for the BBC, both as a contributor and as a presenter, and works as an international media consultant.  He works for the BBC College of Journalism on editorial leadership. Phil has won numerous Sony Gold awards and an Emmy in the United States.

Announcing the appointments, Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “Catherine brings to the NCTJ a wealth of experience and commitment to high standards of modern journalism.  With Catherine and Phil Harding we now have the dream team to help us ensure the broadcast journalism contents of our qualifications are built on quality, value and innovation.”