Regional talent recognised at the North East Press Awards

The North East Press Awards 2010 took place last week in South Shields, honouring regional media talent from the area, including an NCTJ tutor, author and examiner and the best National Certificate Examination (NCE) performer from the region. The 2010 awards, staged annually in memory of former news editor Tom Cordner, whose special interest was training journalists, were originally due to be held in December but were delayed until the new year due to the snow.

Jon Smith, NCTJ senior examiner and former trainer, was presented with the Graeme Stanton Memorial Award for a lifetime contribution to journalism, while Alison Goulding, a journalist with the Sunderland Echo won the Eric Dobson Scroll, the prize for the Top NCE marks in the North East.

Jon Smith received the award for the tremendous role he has played in the training of young journalists. He recently retired from Darlington College's School of Journalism after 21 years and is also an NCTJ senior examiner, marker and moderator. In addition Jon is the author of Essential Reporting: The NCTJ Guide for Trainee Journalists, and was presented with the NCTJ Chairman's Award in 2009..

Jon worked as a highly-regarded chief sub-editor of The Northern Echo and also for The Times in London, before becoming a journalism trainer.

After the awards ceremony Jon said: "I'm delighted and honoured to receive the award. It's a tribute to everyone involved in NCTJ training in the North East, especially my former colleagues at Darlington College, and I hope the region will continue to produce young journalists of the high calibre we saw at the awards ceremony for many years to come."

Alison Goulding studied journalism on the NCTJ accredited course at Darlington College. She has now been a features writer and columnist at the Sunderland Echo for three years and says she loves her job, thanks to both the people she works with and those she meets on a daily basis.

Speaking about her achievement, Alison said: "Winning the award was a truly lovely surprise. Even though it was hard work, doing my NCE was one of the most satisfying things I've ever put my mind to. The whole evening was great because it's encouragement and recognition like this that really boosts morale and celebrates the talented writers, photographers and sub-editors who work so hard to make North East newspapers a cracking read."