New chair and chief examiner of Public Affairs examination board

Picture: Janet Jones, chair and chief examiner of the NCTJ public affairs examinations board.

A senior lecturer and former reporter, news desk editor, sub-editor and training officer, is the new chair and chief examiner of the NCTJ public affairs examinations board.

Janet Jones, senior lecturer in journalism and media communications at Glyndŵr University, will guide future public affairs teaching and examinations. Janet is stepping up to replace Amanda Ball who has chaired the board for 16 years.

After completing her NCTJ training with the Midland News Association (MNA) in Wolverhampton, Janet progressed to reporter, news editor and sub-editor on the Telford Journal and Shropshire Star. She then worked at the MNA training centre in Wolverhampton as a training officer, before joining Glyndŵr University in Wrexham, North Wales, in 2007.

At Glyndŵr University Janet was instrumental in gaining NCTJ accreditation for the Certificate of Higher Education in Print Journalism course in March 2009. The course is a unique partnership with NWN Media, formerly North Wales Newspapers.

Janet’s passion for excellence in public affairs journalism was inspired by her father, John Simcock, a well-known and respected journalist, now retired, who for many years was municipal correspondent for the Shropshire Star. Janet’s brothers are also journalists, Jon Simcock is deputy editor at the Shropshire Star and Peter Simcock edits a group of newspapers in Melbourne, Australia.

Janet said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking on the role of chair and chief examiner of the NCTJ public affairs board.

“The huge changes in public bodies currently being announced on an almost daily basis illustrate just how important it is for journalists to understand not only how local and central government work but how they generate stories at all levels for readers, listeners and viewers.

“I am particularly honoured to be given the job of continuing the remarkable work already done by Amanda Ball and the board members in developing a new NCTJ programme for public affairs. This is part of the new Diploma in Journalism in which public affairs has been further integrated into a complete package of multimedia training for journalists.”

“I would also like to say a huge thank you to Amanda Ball for her leadership, commitment, enthusiasm and above all sense of humour as chair of the board. I can only hope to carry on with her fantastic work.”

Amanda Ball will continue as the NCTJ’s principal examiner and is a member of two other NCTJ exam boards: media law and photography.