A reporter who won an NCTJ prize for an outstanding performance in a recent media law exam has underlined the importance for trainee journalists to have an in-depth knowledge of the subject.
Christopher Richards, a trainee reporter on the Welwyn and Hatfield Times, who trained at noSWeat Journalism Training, received his prize for the most outstanding media law court reporting paper 2007-08 at an NCTJ law seminar in London.
Christopher, 27, received his prize from David Rowell, group editorial development executive for Johnston Press, the company who sponsored the award.
He said: “It was quite a surprise to hear I had won an award, it came totally out of the blue. The course at noSWeat is a good course and I knew a number of my classmates had received good grades but I certainly wasn’t expecting to receive a prize.”
He added: “As a trainee reporter, I’m using my knowledge of media law every day.
“It doesn’t take much to work out that the best journalists are those who have a good grasp of media law.”
David Seymour, a reporter on the Boston Standard who trained at Darlington College, was also presented with a prize for the best general reporting paper by Penelope Woolf, editorial director of Oxford University Press.
Since taking the preliminary exam for which he won the prize, David has sat and passed his NCE.
Mr Seymour said: “A good working knowledge of media law is vital. I have been in situations where I have been challenging section 11 orders in court and if you have a good knowledge of the law and can quote Lord Diplock to the bench it can actually be quite fun.”
Picture caption 1: Kim Fletcher, chairman NCTJ, Christopher Richards, David Rowell.
Picture caption 2: Kim Fletcher, David Seymour, Penelope Woolf.