Top performing students receive cash prizes

The winners of two awards for NCTJ public affairs examinations received cash prizes for their hard work at a seminar in London.

Kim Fletcher, NCTJ chairman, presented each of the winners with a framed certificate and a £250 prize at the Public Affairs Seminar held at the Local Government Association on Friday 25th September.

Nicola Corfield, of Guildford, Surrey, received the award and prize for the NCTJ local government public affairs exam taken last year, sponsored by LGcommunications, a national body striving for excellence in local government communications.

Nicola, who achieved a mark of 93 per cent, said: “I was really thrilled to receive this award. I’m just about to start a new job as an editorial assistant and I am sure an understanding of public policy will play a big part in my new role.

The award and prize for the NCTJ central government public affairs exam taken last year, sponsored by Oxford University Press, was presented to Nicola Newson of Brighton, who achieved a mark of 95 per cent.

Nicola Newson said: “I’m delighted to receive this prize, I’m just about to start work in the House of Lords as a researcher, so obviously to have studied central government in depth will serve me very well.”

Both students sat their NCTJ public affairs exams while studying the fast-track NCTJ Certificate in Journalism (Sub-editing) course at Brighton Journalist Works.

Presenting the awards Kim Fletcher said: “When I read the judges’ comments for both students it was clear their answers were of a very high standard. They were exceptional.

“In the future there is still going to be a huge amount of information and news available. There is a huge demand for news and it is hard to judge what’s good, what’s ripped off or what’s recycled with little fact behind it.

“That is the difference between good media and bad media. The people who are going to find out the importance of good media are those that can demonstrate the credentials found in these examinations.”

Simon Duffin, UK press officer for the European Parliament, also spoke at the seminar on the impact of the economy on European politics and moves to create a new climate change agreement to be signed at the European Union summit in Copenhagen in December.

Other speakers included Claire Holloway, Helen Johnston and Mark Luntley of the Local Government Association spoke on local government finance, children’s services and regional government.