Two-thirds of trainees pass July NQJ exam

Two-thirds of trainees in the July sitting of the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) exams achieved the qualification.

A total of 35 of the 53 candidates who sat at six centres on Friday, 7 July were successful in all four parts – media law and practice, news report, news interview and e-logbook – achieving ‘senior journalist’ status.

Notably, there was a near-perfect pass rate of 98 per cent in the media law and practice exam, which led the moderator to say: “An excellent set of results, with some extremely high marks and an exceptional winner. The knowledge and application displayed by most candidates was very encouraging and should inspire confidence with editors.”

The exam tested knowledge across major legal and ethical issues, including defamation and the qualified privilege defence available when reporting from a public meeting, along with confidentiality. The paper also tested knowledge of what constituted contempt when a case was active and the defence available under the Attorney General’s assurance when quoting from a police appeal.

The July sitting also witnessed a return to a 100 per cent pass rate for e-logbook, the first since March 2015. The moderator said: “Markers enjoyed a strong range of submissions and there were no major issues with logbooks in this round.”

Fifty-one candidates sat the news report exam and 34 passed – a rate of 67 per cent. Candidates were asked to report on a topical story about a garage discontinuing its VW franchise as a result of the emissions scandal.

The news interview paper featured a story about a raid at a stately home, in which three men tied the housekeeper’s husband to a chair and shut her and the family dog in a pantry before fleeing with candlesticks which were copies of expensive originals.

Overall, most of the candidates did well, with the moderator identifying issues with shorthand for those who struggled. This exam produced a pass rate of 70 per cent, with 35 successful candidates from the 50 who sat.

You can read about the award winners and see the full examiners’ report.

The next National Qualification in Journalism exam will take place on Friday, 3 November 2017. The closing date for enrolment is Friday, 22 September 2017.