NCTJ chairman urges editors to invest in professional development training

Continuous professional development (CPD) for journalists “makes commercial sense for businesses” NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher told the Society of Editors conference.

Kim made the comments during a session on journalism training in front of regional and national editors at the Grand Harbour Hotel, Southampton on Monday, 10 November.

At the session chaired by Donald Martin, editor-in-chief, DC Thomson Newspapers and NCTJ board member, Kim spoke about the need to develop a sustained training programme for journalists throughout their careers. Emerging Skills for Journalists, the most recent research report commissioned by the NCTJ, had revealed that training provision was “patchy” after a journalist’s initial few years in the media.

He said part of the responsibility lay with editors and management to demand training while stressing that it could be delivered in different ways: “We’ve got to get into these training schemes and find out what is going on. We can do this on the job, we can do this off the job, we can do this face-to-face, remotely, this does not need to be hugely time-consuming. Even if training budgets have been reduced, there are some really good online resources and distance learning options that we can use.”

He added: “If we’re really going to start shifting things on further skills, on further training, on professional or personal development, then a lot of this has got to come from discussing with you what can really make a difference.”

Kim outlined the work that had already been done on existing NCTJ qualifications to ensure they remain relevant to the industry. The Diploma in Journalism and the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) have been restructured to include practical journalism ethics training. He also said the NCTJ had seen “huge demand” for courses in digital skills, such as new masterclasses in mobile journalism.

He added that while the NCTJ would continue the important work on entry skills and initial training, the charity would seek to work with employers to set a benchmark for CPD for employed journalists. 

To view the full session, see here.