A total of 78 per cent of trainees in the November sitting of the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) exams achieved the qualification.
Out of the 63 candidates who sat the exams on Friday, 3 November, 49 were successful in all four parts – media law and practice, news report, news interview and e-logbook – achieving ‘senior journalist’ status.
The pass rate was 12 percentage points higher than the previous sitting in July, and the best result since the same record pass rate of 78 per cent was achieved in the July 2016 sitting.
The November NQJ saw a return of the 100 per cent pass rate for e-logbook, the second since 2015. The moderator said: “The November exam provided markers with a number of strong submissions and there were no major issues present in terms of the key tasks submitted.”
There was a pass rate of 89 per cent in the media law and practice exam, which tested the candidates’ knowledge of what constituted defamation and a possible defence, as well as contempt and what material from a witness should be taken out and can be left in once a case is active.
The moderator commented: “The knowledge and application displayed by most candidates was good and should give their editors confidence.”
The news report and news interview exams had lower pass rates, with 78 per cent of candidates passing these respective sections. The news report exam asked the candidates to report on a story about a pensioner whose cats bred so uncontrollably that he shut the colony of 49 cats and kittens away in his attic, prompting complaints from a neighbour and subsequent rescue by the RSPCA and Anderson Animal Trust.
The news interview paper featured a story about an accident when a young man was shot during a shooting day at a country estate, testing candidates’ skills at interpreting a scenario where they may not understand the procedures and shooting terms, but are required to make sure they understand and translate them into a compelling story for the reader.
The moderator said: “Those who passed had a readable writing style, caught the drama and had strong quotes.”
The next National Qualification in Journalism exam will take place on Friday, 2 March 2018. The closing date for enrolment is Friday, 19 January 2018.