Evocative writing and entertaining style are hallmarks of NCE award-winning journalists

Four newly-qualified senior journalists are to be rewarded for their excellent performance in the March 2010 National Certificate Examination.

Four newly-qualified senior journalists are to be rewarded for their excellent performance in the March 2010 National Certificate Examination.

An evocative writing style and a punchy story marked the winner of the Society of Editors’ award for outstanding News Interview.

Robert Garratt of the Eastern Daily Press won the award and he will receive a cheque for £250.

Robert said: “I’m thrilled, I remember leaving the NCE with an impending sense of gloom because I thought I had left some details out, so I’m surprised.

“I would like to thank all the team at Archant Norfolk for being so supportive during my training.”

The exam moderator said: “Robert demonstrated the two simple things that are needed to do well as a reporter: a well-organised interview technique and an evocative writing style. He gathered all the facts, some cracking quotes and then put them together in a punchy, flowing and accurate story. He is an excellent winner.”

The Esso award for outstanding News Report was won by Timothy Sculthorpe of the Scunthorpe Telegraph who will also receive a cheque for £250.

Timothy said: “I am astonished, of the three exams I sat that day, I thought the News Report was the one that hadn’t gone quite so well, so I am very surprised.”

The exam moderator said: “Timothy covered all key points and used well-chosen and accurate quotes. His use of reported speech was well used to convey facts. His report had a strong introduction, good pace and an entertaining style which clearly conveyed the story to the reader.”

The Ted Bottomley award for outstanding Newspaper Practice paper, sponsored by Midland News Association, was won by Adam Cornell of the Maldon & Burnham Standard.

Adam said: “I sat a law degree before I decided to become a journalist, so I have always been interested in the law and its application. But I had to learn how to answer legal questions as a journalist, using and needing the law on a daily basis, rather than in-depth as a lawyer.”

The exam moderator said Adam’s paper was: “An excellent law answer achieving near maximum marks combined with good practice answers. A textbook example of how to pass NCE Newspaper Practice.”

The Newsquest award for outstanding logbook was won by Matt Meade of the Dunfermline Press.

Matt said: “It was quite hard collating everything for the logbook. I was confident I had everything in place but I wasn’t sure if the examiners would see it that way but obviously they did.

“Working at the Dunfermline Press has given me a wide range of stories to cover, from court to sport and I’m very grateful for that.”

The exam moderator said: “Clear and concise presentation in this logbook along with a strong sense of story-telling made this an ideal choice.”

Adam and Matt will both receive a cheque for £250 for winning their awards.



Robert completed his NCTJ preliminary journalism training at Nottingham Trent University; Timothy completed his at Cardiff University; Adam went to noSWeat Journalism Training in London; and Matt went to the Scottish Centre for Journalism Studies.

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