Outstanding NCTJ candidates celebrated for top diploma exam results

Twelve candidates have been rewarded for achieving the best results in the 2020-21 NCTJ Diploma in Journalism exams.

Twelve candidates have been rewarded for achieving the best results in the 2020-21 NCTJ Diploma in Journalism exams.

The award winners were announced today in the latest NCTJ Diploma in Journalism Examiners’ Report.

A total of 9,019 Diploma in Journalism exams were sat during the academic year by students on both accredited and non-accredited courses, and distance learners.

In the report, the NCTJ’s principal examiner Amanda Ball noted “a welcome return to some kind of normality” with a significant increase in the number of exam sittings.

She said: “The NCTJ team, examiners and staff at accredited centres all deserve enormous credit for the professional way in which they have adapted to the many and varied challenges posed by the pandemic.”

Each diploma award winner will receive a certificate and a cheque for £250 from the award sponsor to recognise their outstanding exam results.

The full list of winners is as follows:

The Archant essential journalism award – Olivia Marshall, Bournemouth University
Olivia sat her diploma exams as a Community News Project reporter at the Brighton Argus, where she is now in a permanent role as a digital reporter.

The Oxford University Press essential media law award – Imran Marashli, PA Training
Imran achieved an impressive 94 per cent in the media law exam, and now works as a trainee journalist at AFP news agency.

The JPIMedia media law court reporting award – Jack Tooth, News Associates Manchester
Since achieving the gold standard diploma in 2021, Jack now works as a reporter at The Messenger and The Oldham Times and is working towards the National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ).

The Oxford University Press public affairs award – Georgina Quach, University of Sheffield
Georgina, who was commended for the NCTJ Student of the Year award in March, now works as politics newsletter editor at the Financial Times.

The Archant shorthand award (100wpm) – Sophia Simoes, University of Salford
Sophia achieved the best 100wpm shorthand result with 100 per cent accuracy, and since graduating is looking for opportunities in broadcast journalism.

The Sky Sports News shorthand award (110wpm) – Talya Honebeek, University of Sunderland
Talya achieved the best 110wpm shorthand result with 100 per cent accuracy, and works as a journalist, SEO and trends writer at BirminghamLive.

The ITV News broadcast journalism award – Ellie Ng, Kingston University
Ellie now works as a reporter for Court News UK, after completing her gold standard diploma on the MA journalism course at Kingston University.

The Meta editing skills for journalists’ award – Lucia Banks, Harlow College
An aspiring documentary filmmaker, Lucia was commended for the student top scoop award at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence 2021 for a piece on the impact of Covid restrictions on UK prisoners.

The Mark Allen Group practical magazine journalism award – Christopher Brackin, PA Training
Christopher, who achieved 90 per cent in the practical magazine journalism exam, is a Journalism Diversity Fund recipient who is committed to investigating and highlighting injustices.

The Society of Editors videojournalism award – Bellamy Bird, Bournemouth University
Bellamy completed their NCTJ diploma as a Community News Project reporter at KentOnline, and achieved 77 per cent in the videojournalism assessment.

The Premier League sports journalism award – Frankie Elliott, University of Brighton
Frankie now works as a reporter for the Brighton and Hove Independent and Sussex Express, after graduating from the MA sports journalism course at the University of Brighton in 2021.

The Reach journalism for a digital audience award – Connor McLaughlin, News Associates London
Connor, who completed his diploma on the fast-track course at News Associates London in 2021, now works as a journalist and senior producer for Dan Wootton Tonight on GB News.

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