Journalism training standards remain vital in the wake of growing fake news stories

Journalism training standards set by the NCTJ are imperative in the battle against fake news, senior industry figures said today.

NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher welcomed delegates to the 2016 Journalism Skills Conference, this year hosted by Highbury College and the University of Portsmouth.

He addressed delegates saying: "Fake news and post-truth tell us something about our world now."

He told the annual skills conference in Portsmouth that, in a fast-moving media landscape, the public needed to be able to turn to journalists they could trust.

Kim vowed that, while the NCTJ is moving quickly to keep pace with change: "One thing we are not moving on is standards."

Stella Mbubaegbu, principal of Highbury College, shared in her welcoming address: "The standards of the NCTJ are precious at this time."

Views on fake news were echoed by Richard Frediani, senior programme editor at ITV News, who said it was "impossible to regulate the internet." His thoughts came as part of a panel discussion on whether ethics were taming the media. The panel, chaired by Paul Foster, journalism programme leader for Highbury College, also included Niall Duffy, director of external affairs at IPSO.

Richard added: "When there is a big story, people turn to the trusted media outlets. If we loosen our values we will go down a slippery slope."

He praised the work of the NCTJ, saying: "Good journalism courses teach ethical, legal and editorial standards which are essential to any newsroom."

Niall said that the regulator had taken action against a national newspaper after it had copied a story from the web which turned out to be fake.