NCTJ's chairman's award winner is 'simply the best'

Paul Durrant, journalism trainer and member of the NCTJ journalism examinations board, has been honoured with the 2014 NCTJ Chairman’s Award for his outstanding contribution to journalism training and education.

Paul was presented with his award by NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher following an awards dinner at the Journalism Skills Conference held in the ballroom of Sheffield City Hall on 27 November.

During the presentation, Kim praised Paul as “a mentor and inspiration to so many trainees, junior and senior journalists and editors” who described him as “simply the best news editor in the business”.

Kim added: “A highly-talented and inspirational journalist, Paul is someone who brings out the best in people. People who nominated him include those who say without him they wouldn’t have turned from inexperienced young trainees into decent journalists.

“Yes, he’s tough, firm, and fierce even; but he’s fair-minded, loyal, and a first-class journalist, trainer and examiner”.

Paul joined the East Anglian Daily Times as a trainee in 1971 and did his preliminary exams training at Sheffield College before passing his Proficiency Test at Harlow College. In the early 80s, he moved from Ipswich to the Eastern Daily Press in Norwich where he was an inspirational news editor for more than two decades.

In recent years, Paul has devoted much of his time to journalism training, regularly teaching at the Eastern Daily Press, helping trainees prepare for their senior exams, working for the Journalism Diversity Fund, and supporting the NCTJ as a trainer and member of the journalism examinations board.