Talented top guns on awards shortlist

Top guns of journalism talent have hit the target by making it to the shortlist stage of the NCTJ’s Awards for Excellence in Journalism 2009.

The shortlisting judges, many of whom award-winners themselves at the recent Press Gazette Regional Press Awards 2009, were: Jon Austin, Basildon Echo; Kevan Blackadder, Gloucestershire Echo; Jon Colman, The Cumberland News; Paul Durrant, Freelance Journalist; Simon Hulme, Yorkshire Post; Lee Marlow, Leicester Mercury; Murray Morse, Daily Sport; Alice Ryan, Cambridge News; Paul Sanders, The Times; and John Wilson, Johnston Press.

The awards were open to students studying NCTJ accredited courses and trainee journalists working toward the NCE and the judges shortlisted 28 entries out of a total of 115.

The full shortlist will be posted tomorrow on the website.

Paul Sanders, picture editor of The Times, said of the photography entries: “It should be noted that all the entrants show a very professional and considered approach to their work.

“The fact that several of the entrants have work published widely in national titles shows they are of the highest calibre and have a good future ahead of them.

Paul added: “The standard was much better than last year.”

Judging will now move forward to its final stage, where six senior industry figures will meet to decide on the overall top trainee and top student winners in each of the five categories: news journalism; sports journalism; top scoop/exclusive; features of the year and images of the year.

The winners will be invited to attend the Society of Editors conference on Monday 16th November, where Helen Boaden, BBC director of news, will present the awards.

Helen will also be presenting three other awards, NCTJ student journalist of the year, NCTJ photographer of the year and NCTJ reporter of the year.

The winners will again be posted on the website following the conference.

Kim Fletcher, NCTJ chairman, will announce the winner of the Chairman’s Award at the Journalism Skills Conference 2009 which is taking place in Glasgow on 3rd and 4th December 2009.