Fifty-seven per cent of trainees pass March NQJ exams

Fifty-seven per cent of trainees who sat the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) exams in March achieved the qualification, a figure comparable to the fifty-five per cent pass rate achieved in March 2018.

Out of the 28 candidates who sat the exams on Friday, 8 March across four centres, a total of 16 were successful in all four parts – media law and practice, news report, news interview and e-logbook – achieving ‘senior journalist’ status.

This was the final NQJ sitting before it is replaced with the new level 6 NQJ, which has been developed following an industry-wide review.

The March NQJ saw the sixth 100 per cent pass rate for e-logbook since July 2017. The moderator said: “A good round of submissions which showed that candidates have developed well during their period of training.”

There was a pass rate of 78 per cent in the media law and practice exam, with the exams testing sexual offences, defamation, confidentiality, contempt, filming in court precincts, ethical issues and privacy.

The moderator commented: “A pleasing set of papers, with few candidates failing and a couple of excellent papers.”

The news report exam had an overall pass rate of 57 per cent, down from 78 per cent in the November exams. Candidates were asked to report on a story of a rare snow leopard that escaped from a wildlife park following storm force winds which damaged its enclosure.

The moderator said: “Careless mistakes in part A meant that vital marks were lost in some papers”, but added, “In part B of the exam the standard was much higher and candidates included some excellent ideas for illustrations and follow-ups.”

There was an overall pass rate of 63 per cent in the news interview exam, which featured a topical story in light of the rise in the number of stabbings hitting the headlines at the time of the exam.

The moderator said: “It was pleasing to see that candidates who did score a pass mark wrote largely error-free stories which would have pleased any newsdesk.”

You can now read about the award winners and see the full examiners’ report.

The next National Qualification in Journalism exams, the first sitting of the new assessments, will take place on Friday, 5 July and the closing date for enrolment is Friday, 24 May.