Honour for talented NCTJ trainee

A talented trainee reporter who completed his NCTJ training just six months ago, has been presented with the Leanne Gibbons Memorial Award 2012 for most promising trainee.

Daniel Milligan, who graduated from Staffordshire University in the summer, now works for the Somerset County Gazette, the Bridgwater Mercury and Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News and covers both news and sports. The award is in honour of Leanne Gibbons, a promising trainee reporter with the Gazette, who died in 2005 age 23, and is presented each year by her parents.

Daniel said: “The award was a massive shock, but it also a real honour to be recognised for some of the work I have done in the early stages of my journalism career.

“Some of the words said from my editor and lecturer were very humbling and it is nice to be able to bring my enthusiasm and motivation into the company as well as the new ideas I have.

“Leanne was a young trainee reporter, similar age to myself, so it was a proud moment to receive the award from her parents because she was in the same position as I am only a few years ago.

“I have loved every minute of the six months I have been a trainee. I do news and sport so the days are so varied and no two days are alike. I get the chance to cover the big sporting events as well as dealing with human interest and sensitive news stories which will help me as I work towards my NCE.”

Commenting on his training, Daniel added: “I wouldn't have got the job or the opportunity without the NCTJs, they are a beacon for helping good trainees stand out from the crowd and that was the reason I chose Staffordshire University - because it was an NCTJ-accredited course and all the tutors have worked or still work in the field of journalism. Without question the NCTJs and the BA Hons Journalism course at the university helped me get my first step on the ladder.”

Alex Cameron, Newsquest Somerset editor said: “His flexibility in covering news and sport has meant his byline is just as likely to appear in the news sections of our papers as it is on the back pages.

“He has made a fantastic and exemplary start – long may it continue.”

Pete Leydon, journalism award leader at Staffordshire University, added: “I’m delighted for Dan – he deserves the recognition.

“He produced some first rate journalism during his degree, passed all his NCTJ qualifications on the course at the first attempt, and displayed a rare all-round ability in covering news, sport and specialist areas to a professional standard. 

“This award doesn’t come as a surprise to me, but it’s still really pleasing to see our top journalism graduates like Dan go on to excel in their field.”

Photo: From left is Alex Cameron (editor-in-chief of Somerset County Gazette), Cedric Gibbons, Daniel Milligan, Lesley Gibbons