Students and apprentices hear from NCTJ team and senior editors in Student Council Instagram Q&A

Student representatives have had their questions answered in a virtual Student Council event on Instagram Stories.

Student representatives have had their questions answered in a virtual Student Council event on Instagram Stories.

The NCTJ Student Council enables students and apprentices from across the UK to communicate their views on their journalism training, and to have their questions answered by the NCTJ.

This year, representatives from accredited courses, apprenticeships and the NCTJ’s distance learning programme were asked to provide their feedback and ask questions relating to their training, the NCTJ, or journalism careers in an online survey.

Questions were answered today by the NCTJ team and senior editors in a series of videos posted on Instagram Stories.

Rachel Manby, head of awarding at the NCTJ, detailed the NCTJ’s plans in relation to remote exams. She said: “We’re continuing to offer the option of remote exams for all diploma subjects this year.

“Our aim is to retain the option of remote exams for our centres beyond this year as an option for candidates who cannot be accommodated in centre. Remote exams will also continue to be available for our distance learners, and for candidates on apprenticeships.”

Luke Jacobs, regional editor in the South East for Reach plc, was asked why it’s not possible to get the gold standard diploma with only 60wpm shorthand.

Luke said: “One hundred words per minute shorthand is an extremely valuable and useful skill in the newsroom. You can go to court, you can go to inquests and you can take notes in a very fast and skilful way without having to worry about making recordings.”

Adele Jones, alumni manager and talent coordinator at the Financial Times, offered her advice on standing out when applying for jobs. She said: “Cover letters are a great way of showing your personality. Use them as an opportunity to talk about community or student journalism, or perhaps you’ve written an article you’re really proud of.

“Also, try to tailor them to the organisation you’re writing to, so they are not too generic.”

Other subjects covered include work placements, the National Qualification in Journalism, funding, and the Community News Project.

Addressing students during the Q&A, NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “We know you’ve made a big investment, and you’re in good company because more than 80 per cent of the UK’s qualified journalists are NCTJ trained.

“We know it’s tough. It’s a big challenge to get the gold standard, but journalism is such an important job. It’s vital in our democracy, and it’s really important that it’s done properly to professional standards.”

See the Q&A on the NCTJ’s Instagram account.

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