NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher stressed the importance of maintaining high standards of journalism at the charity’s Annual General Meeting in Cardiff last week. He said it was terrific that the barriers have come down and anyone can publish but trusted sources and recognisable brands were those most people turn to.
“When it comes to news, we know those sources operate on the basis of certain journalistic principles. The form of delivery changes, but the underlying journalistic requirements remain the same. Their journalists believe in curiosity and passion, but understand the importance of objectivity and accurate source. They have a working knowledge of public bodies and the law. They operate under codes of practice. And yes, despite all the new technology, many continue to take a shorthand note.”
Speaking about the NCTJ’s commitment to this, he said: “The kind of journalistic skills the NCTJ develops and examines are practical skills, developed with the purpose of ensuring high standards of journalism. That is why employers, confronted with a sack of applicants from aspiring reporters, find NCTJ qualifications a pretty good place to start.”
The NCTJ’s annual report, published on the day of the AGM, showcases the work of the organisation in 2009/10. 625 trainees sat the NCE and a total of 16,290 examinations were sat. Contributions to the Journalism Diversity Fund were £125,000. Operating income from charitable activities declined slightly, reflecting the downturn in recruitment in the industry.
Commenting in the report about the year ahead – which is also available in video format – chief executive, Joanne Butcher, said work would continue to ensure the NCTJ has the expertise and support to operate in all media sectors. Central to this work is the delivery of the new Diploma in Journalism but referring to new projects in the pipeline she singled out the comprehensive review of the National Certificate Examination as the most important.
The NCTJ’s strategic objectives are to:
Broaden the NCTJ into a converged training body in order to deliver effective products and services for all journalists across all media sectors
Develop ‘gold standard’ multimedia journalism qualifications that are the respected benchmark of excellence
Enhance, promote and support the high standard and quality of education and training provided by accredited journalism courses
Take action to achieve greater diversity of journalists in the media industry
Communicate effectively with all target audiences to increase awareness of the NCTJ’s brand values, core business and its status as a charity