Diploma in Journalism content updates for 2020-21

Following an industry-wide review of the elective modules in the Diploma in Journalism, the NCTJ is updating the following two modules: production journalism and videojournalism for online.

Both areas assess key skills that are delivered to all candidates in the essential journalism module, but provide more depth of knowledge and a wider range of specialist skills.

Detailed research was carried out by editorial consultants, tutors, trainers and learners in 2019.

The outcomes were evaluated by the subject exam teams led by chief examiners, which informed the changes made to both options being introduced in the 2020-21 academic year.

Production journalism will now be called ‘editing skills for journalists’, with more emphasis placed on online editing in the exam.

A hard copy subbing exercise has been dropped and the assessment will be delivered completely on screen.

John Dilley, chief examiner, said: “The production journalism module has undergone a number of changes over the years to keep in line with the fast-moving digital deadline environment in newsrooms.

“The new title reflects the skills assessed and we hope to see the high standard of attainment achieved in the exam continue through 2020-21.”

Videojournalism for online becomes ‘videojournalism for digital platforms’ to better reflect the content and skills assessed in the module.

Updates to the exam include adding subtitles to the video clip for social media, and the coursework has been revised to include making a video for the web and a social media video that is mobile friendly.

Chief examiner Vanessa Edwards said: “Journalism is becoming increasingly social. The NCTJ's videojournalism qualification is changing to reflect the growing need for journalists to produce engaging, shareable social media content for a variety of platforms.  

"As examiners, we already review some wonderful video content created by our trainee journalists. Now we’re excited to see how our trainees take on this new challenge, to produce eye-catching, innovative content tailored for social media platforms."

Temporary arrangements for the e-portfolio introduced in April due to the coronavirus pandemic will continue until at least January 2021, but only for candidates who may be affected by local lockdowns. The majority of candidates are expected to follow the general guidelines from September.

Full details on all diploma updates for 2020-21 are provided to candidates and accredited courses in the tutor and student resources areas of the NCTJ website.