8 March 2013 is the date of the first ever sitting of the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ). Replacing the NCE, this revised and updated professional qualification is recognised as the ‘gold standard’ in journalism training for trainee reporters.
Consisting of four sections: Media Law and Practice (replacing Newspaper Practice and testing reporters’ application and knowledge of the law as well as a compulsory ethics question); News Report; News Interview; and Logbook (which is soon to be re-launched as an electronic online version).
Steve Nelson, chairman of the NCTJ Journalism exam board and NQJ chief examiner said: "This is the most important change to the national exam in a generation and certainly the most significant since the introduction of the logbook element.
"These changes reflect both the recent emphasis and debate on ethics in journalism and the increasing importance of social media in telling stories.
"There is also an increased robustness about the media law element and more satisfactory delivery of the News Report speech via DVD."
Media Law and Practice is still an ‘open book’ exam allowing candidates’ access to McNae's Essential Law for Journalists, but with tablet versions now available it is worth reminding trainees that we cannot allow them in the exam due to their Wi-Fi or 3G capabilities.