Reporting is an essential skill for journalists and the NCTJ’s syllabus covers multi-platform reporting for newspapers, magazines, online, television and radio journalism. This includes a practical understanding of news, news gathering, effective interviewing, creating different types of news stories, different ways of consuming news, using interactivity, basic editing, and reporting safely. Students and trainees need to master the core skill of being able to write ‘clean’ copy that is accurate and engaging.
The two and a half hour exam is a test of the candidate’s news sense, ability to select and prioritise key facts and quotes, and writing skills for different platforms. Marks are awarded for content, accuracy, use of language, a good angle and introduction, story structure, and the choice and use of quotes. The ability to develop a story for the appropriate platform and to identify relevant sources and questions is also tested.