Outstanding journalists celebrated for top NCTJ diploma results

Twelve high-flying journalists have received a cash prize of £250 for achieving the best results in the 2022-23 NCTJ Diploma in Journalism exams.

Twelve high-flying journalists have been rewarded for achieving the best results in the 2022-23 NCTJ Diploma in Journalism exams.

A total of 11,658 diploma exams were sat throughout the academic year, including sittings for students on both accredited and non-accredited courses, as well as distance learners and apprentices.

The top-performing candidates receive a cash prize of £250 from their respective award supporters: ITV News, Mark Allen Group, National World, Newsquest, Oxford University Press, Reach, Sky Sports News, Society of Editors, The Independent, The Premier League, and The Telegraph.

The award winners are featured in the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism Examiners’ Report, published today:

The diploma, the NCTJ’s professional entry-level qualification for journalists, has mandatory modules covering essential journalism skills, media law, ethics and regulation, and elective modules covering broadcast, shorthand, video, public affairs, court reporting, digital audience, business and finance, sports, editing, data, photography, PR and communications, and magazine journalism.

Summarising the results, principal examiner Amanda Ball said: “Diploma results for the last two academic years clearly indicate that NCTJ standards remain encouragingly high, and that the assessments are robust and fit for purpose.

“The results are also testament to the hard work undertaken by the NCTJ examiners, staff and individual subject boards, as well as to the commitment of the hard-working tutors on accredited courses who continue to deliver high-quality journalism education and training.”

Congratulating the award winners, chief executive Joanne Forbes said: “NCTJ diploma assessments are a challenging test of competence and demand commitment and sheer hard work to reach the ‘gold standard’. Getting the top marks is a wonderful achievement.

“This is a talent-list of names to watch as they develop their journalism careers into senior positions.”

The winners are as follows, in no particular order:

Benjamin Allward and Niamh Robinson

The Newsquest essential journalism award – Benjamin Allward, Glasgow Caledonian University
After previously working as a freelancer for Radio Clyde, Benjamin is taking a year out of journalism to work on the Belmond Royal Scotsman train.

The Oxford University Press essential media law award – Niamh Robinson, PA Media Academy
Niamh has been working as an editorial newsroom apprentice at The Telegraph since January 2023, rotating around a variety of desks including digital news, video, social media and SEO. She is looking forward to applying for permanent positions later this year.

Left: Eve Bennett. Right: Eve collecting her student of the year accolade at the NCTJ’s Awards for Excellence

The National World media law: court reporting award – Eve Bennett, News Associates London
Eve, who was named student of the year at the NCTJ’s Awards for Excellence this year, is currently an output producer at Sky News. While completing her NCTJ diploma at News Associates, she worked as a producer, reporter and presenter for Riverside Radio’s weekly news programme — where she was awarded best reporter 2022.

Ji-Min Lee and Freya Gascoigne

The Oxford University Press public affairs award – Ji-Min Lee, Darlington College
Ji-Min moved to The Telegraph as a social media editor in November, where he works alongside editorial and audience teams to design and implement the paper’s social strategy. He has also taken the lead on The Telegraph’s new landmark news podcast The Daily T, which launches in May.

The Sky Sports News shorthand award (100wpm) – Freya Gascoigne, News Associates London
Freya achieved the top 100wpm shorthand exam with an impressive 100 per cent accuracy. She currently works as a politics editorial assistant at Sky News.

The ITV News broadcast journalism award – University of Central Lancashire student
This student, who achieved 83 per cent in the broadcast journalism exam, does not wish to be named.

Ben Stevens and Ethan Banks

The Society of Editors editing skills for journalists’ award – Ben Stevens, De Montfort University
Since graduating, Ben has been doing sports writing for a website called VAVEL, and collaborated with a PR agency during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The Mark Allen Group practical magazine journalism award – Ethan Banks, University of Sunderland
Ethan, who achieved the gold standard diploma in 2023, and has words in The Sun and the Essex Echo, specialises in entertainment, and has interviewed several celebrities, including Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel.

Paul Dobson and Luke Power

The Independent videojournalism award – Paul Dobson, NCTJ Journalism Skills Academy distance learner
Paul receives this award following his impressive performance in the videojournalism for online exam, which he undertook as a distance learner with the NCTJ’s Journalism Skills Academy. Paul is currently working as a freelance journalist in Venezuela.

The Premier League sports journalism award – Luke Power, News Associates Manchester
Luke achieved 78 per cent in the sports journalism exam, which he sat while completing the multimedia sports journalism diploma course at News Associates in Manchester. Luke is now working as a trainee sports reporter with MailOnline.

Abbie Ingham and Thomas Godfrey

The Reach journalism for a digital audience award – Abbie Ingham, News Associates London
Now freelancing with the FA, Abbie has conducted interviews with almost all the Lionesses squad at St George’s Park, as well as writing featured articles across the men and women’s FA Cup Final, and the Women’s Finalissima. Abbie previously worked at LiveScore.


The Telegraph data journalism award – Thomas Godfrey, Oxford Brookes University
After graduating from the BA media, journalism and publishing course at Oxford Brookes University, Thomas is now a news reporter at The Sun. Thomas achieved an impressive 79 per cent in his data journalism exam.

Download the Diploma in Journalism Examiners’ Report 2022-23 here.

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