Journalists across the country sat the NCTJ National Certificate Examination today in a bid to achieve senior reporter status.
Over one hundred reporters, four sports reporters, one sub-editor and two photographers completed an exam which is designed to examine all-round competence in a range of fundamental skills.
The reporting NCE is divided into four sections: news interview; news report; newspaper practice and the logbook. The sub-editing NCE has three sections: subbing; newspaper practice and logbook, while the photography NCE has five parts: practical; portfolio; picture spread (advance project); video and logbook.
The topics featured in today’s reporter’s papers included an explosion at a shopping mall and bad weather and its effect on transport, while sports reporters covered rugby nationals and a possible boycott over prize money at a major sporting tournament.
In order to gain senior status, all trainee reporters must be able to extract information using excellent interview techniques, reproduce clear and concise reports in a style that attracts readers and demonstrate they are conversant with day-to-day newspaper practice inside and outside the office.
Trainee photographers, who completed the NCE yesterday, were challenged to get an action shot of a cowboy builder, as well as a shot of a recent finalist on TV show The Apprentice.
The exam ran smoothly thanks to the support of centres and volunteers, who helped out throughout the day acting as interviewees, assessors, invigilators and speech readers. The NCE results will be made available next month.