“You cannot be a reporter without shorthand” says Sun managing editor

Managing editor of The Sun, Graham Dudman, gave an impassioned speech about the importance of shorthand in journalism, at the NCTJ’s annual shorthand seminar. 

At the seminar, which took place at the Blue Fin Building in London on 16 June, Graham urged shorthand tutors to make it clear to students that the skill is not just important, but essential to be a journalist.

Graham said: “You cannot be a reporter without shorthand ─ end of. It’s like being a footballer without football boots.”

He said that at The Sun there is zero-tolerance for reporters without shorthand and referred to the paper’s recent advertisement for four traineeships. In order to shortlist the 700 applicants, he imposed two criteria: the applicants had to have their NCTJ qualification and at least 100wpm shorthand. Only those candidates with both of these were considered.

Also at the shorthand seminar, NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher spoke about the increasing enthusiasm for shorthand from students and John Kay, chief reporter with The Sun, gave a colourful illustration of the importance of accurate shorthand. The tutors attending also discussed their experiences of teaching shorthand and shared best-practice tips.