NCTJ chairman calls for action to “remind the world of the merits of a free press”

Kim Fletcher, chairman of the NCTJ, has used the charity’s annual report to reinforce the importance of a free press and the value of training to ensure high standards.

While acknowledging that this has not been journalism’s finest year and admiring the Guardian for its “dogged” journalism, he writes: “We do need to go out and explain ourselves if many areas of entirely legitimate journalistic inquiry are not to be viewed with suspicion by an increasingly sceptical public. It’s time to remind the world of the merits of a free press, of our vital role in underpinning democracy and of the care and dedication of serious, trained journalists.”

Referring to the role of the NCTJ, Kim Fletcher said the Council was having a “lively discussion” about whether the NCTJ should spend more time examining journalists’ command of ethics.  He said: “The answer is not as obvious as it may seem, for there is a great deal of right and wrong already woven into training.  We gave our own evidence to Leveson and, in gathering case studies from NCTJ-accredited courses, were impressed by the dedicated way in which tutors all over the country were integrating ethical practice into their teaching programmes.”

The NCTJ’s annual report showcases the charity’s work in its 60th anniversary year, including publication of the Certificate, Diploma and National Certificate Examination results.  Click here to read the full report.