NCE assessor awarded New Year MBE

An NCTJ-trained journalist and frequent NCE assessor for the news interview exam has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours List.

Sheila Gow has been with the Courier Media Group for over 30 years and currently works as a part-time news reporter with the East Grinstead Courier and Observer.

Sheila, who was awarded an MBE for services to journalism, completed her NCTJ proficiency test when she first began work and for the past six years has acted as an interviewee and assessor at the NCE examinations.

Sheila said: “It was a huge surprise, people have been very kind. My initial reaction was ‘Why me?’ There must be hundreds of journalists all across the country who do exactly what I do but have not received this recognition.

“The NCE is an important qualification for young journalists, I know a lot of people do get on-the-job training, but I think it is still very important for journalists to gain a qualification.

She added: “I honestly believe local newspapers give such a vital service to the community and having well-trained reporters is a strong part to that service.”

The NCTJ is a registered charity which relies on volunteers such as Sheila to facilitate the news interview exam at each sitting of the NCE. At the last sitting in November, 111 volunteers gave their time to help young reporters and photographers achieve the NCTJ’s senior qualification.

Kim Fletcher, NCTJ chairman, said: “Congratulations to Sheila on receiving her MBE. We are really grateful to her and to all the volunteers who give their time to ensure young reporters and photographers can develop their careers by gaining the NCE.”

The next sitting of the NCE is on 5 March and volunteers are needed to take roles as interviewees or assessors on the day. If you would like to volunteer contact Beverley Rhodes at beverley.rhodes@nctj.com