Top-performing NCE reporters named

Four newly-qualified senior journalists are to be rewarded for their excellent performance in the March 2009 National Certificate Examination.

A strong intro, lively quotes and tightly-written facts were features of the prize-winning news interview paper in the NCTJ’s March National Certificate Examination.

Chantal Spittles, of the Worksop Guardian, took the Society of Editors’ prize for this exam – she will receive a cheque for £250.

The moderators said of her work: “Examiners are looking for reporters who understand the story, can visualise what has happened and then recreate a crystal clear picture for the reader. Chantal did exactly that. She aimed for the emotional jugular and consistently delivered right through the copy.”

The Esso award for the news report exam was won by Rhiannon Evans of the Brentwood Gazette. According to the moderators, Rhiannon showed ‘an excellent grasp of the details’ and presented the key points ‘in a newsy way’.

“She explained all the technical aspects and included a good selection of full accurate quotes. She is to be congratulated on producing a first class report,” they said.

The Ted Bottomley award for the newspaper practice exam, sponsored by the Midland News Association, will go to Adam Hewitt, of the Reading Chronicle.

The moderators said Adam’s paper was ‘very impressive, combining excellent legal knowledge with imaginative and thorough answers’.

They went on: “We were particularly impressed by the candidate’s reference to real contacts he would use to cover the stories.”

The Newsquest award for the best logbook goes to Caroline Lowbridge of the Nottingham Evening Post.

The moderators agreed that Caroline’s submissions showed she had ‘got under the skin of her patch’.

It was a clearly presented logbook featuring some powerful stories, and she had given a light touch to some key tasks providing great reader interest.

“An excellent logbook and an example to those who are busy collating their entries,” the moderators said.

All winners will receive £250 from the relevant sponsor for their excellence performances.

Chantal completed her preliminary training at The Sheffield College, Norton; Rhiannon went to Harlow College; Adam completed his training at Sheffield University and Caroline, at Bournemouth University.

For a list of those who have passed the NCE and the full examiners’ report, see the examiners' report.