72 per cent pass rate for March NQJ exam

Seventy-two per cent of candidates achieved senior status in the March sitting of the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ).

Forty-one journalists passed out of 57 candidates who sat the exam at seven centres on Friday 3 March.

This was the third highest pass rate in the 13 sittings since the NQJ was introduced four years ago to replace the National Certificate in Journalism (NCE). The highest pass rate of 78 per cent was recorded in July last year.

Candidates must be successful in all four parts of the NQJ – interview, media law and practice, logbook and news report – to pass and achieve senior status. Of the 57 candidates who sat last month, 43 were taking the exam for the first time and 14 were re-sitting.

Congratulating candidates in the examiners’ report, NCTJ chief examiner Steve Nelson said:

“The pass rate had dipped in the previous sitting, so I am delighted to see this improvement.

“The best figures came from the media law and practice section, and this reflects the increased focus on legal and ethical issues. There was also a much-improved pass rate in the news interview section and a slight increase in the news report section.”

The media law and practice paper produced a pass rate of 82 per cent, with 41 of 50 candidates successful. The exam tested knowledge across major legal and ethical issues which trainees should be familiar with in their working lives. These included the legal and ethical dangers of taking and publishing photographs from a crash scene and jigsaw dangers in reporting sex cases.

Fifty-four candidates sat the news report exam and 39 passed, or 72 per cent. Candidates were asked to report on a county education authority’s £45 million 10-year regeneration project for old Victorian schools and colleges in East Milden.

The news interview paper produced a 78 per cent pass rate, with 42 successful candidates from the 54 who sat. The story in the exam centred on the rape of a 14-year-old girl, snatched from an alleyway by an apologetic attacker 20 minutes after he attempted to sexually assault a woman in her 30s a short distance away. Examiners said those who passed had a readable writing style, caught the drama of the story and had strong quotes.

In the e-logbook section, there was a 98 per cent pass rate, with 42 successful candidates out of 43 who submitted their work.

Read about the award winners and see the full examiners’ report on the NCTJ website.

The next National Qualification in Journalism exam will take place on Friday, 7 July 2017. The closing date for enrolment is Friday, 26 May 2017.