Teeline tutors urged to make shorthand ‘magical to keep it alive’ at NCTJ seminar

Shorthand tutors from across the UK were joined by the NCTJ’s shorthand board for the event in Salford.

Key issues and developments in shorthand training and assessments were top of the agenda at the NCTJ’s first shorthand seminar since the Covid pandemic.

Shorthand tutors from across the UK were joined by the NCTJ’s shorthand board for the event, which was at the University of Salford in MediaCity on Friday, 28 June.

Joanne Forbes, NCTJ’s chief executive, said: “This event was a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with tutors teaching shorthand on our accredited courses.

“There was lively discussion and feedback about the delivery of shorthand, which the NCTJ will take on board to guide future decisions on the subject.”

Attendees were welcomed by Karen Ballam, chair and chief examiner of the NCTJ’s shorthand board, and Maria Breslin, editor of the Liverpool Echo and a member of the NCTJ’s accreditation board.

Maria said: “I use shorthand every day and while I’m never going to get a job with Hansard it remains key to who I am as a journalist.

“It is a skill I fought hard for and one which remains valuable.”

She continued: “Journalism is undoubtedly a different place since I qualified from the University of Central Lancashire many years ago and, as an editor, I have to embrace the changes the industry has undergone and continues to experience.

“There are undoubtedly roles that didn’t exist then and roles that do not require shorthand and I accept that.

“But newsrooms, where they still exist, are exhilarating and creative spaces and journalists who are capable and willing to take on any challenges are the ones most likely to succeed and they are most likely to be the students best equipped with the necessary qualifications and for me that still includes shorthand.”

There were addresses by Jo Goodall, Dani Wozencroft and Marie Cartwright, all members of the NCTJ’s shorthand board.

Jo spoke about the emergence of AI and how it may impact shorthand training, while Dani and Marie gave useful advice about common mistakes seen in NCTJ exams.

There was also round-table discussion and an opportunity to give feedback to the NCTJ.

Jo said: “In our teaching, we have to keep shorthand magical to keep it alive.”

There was also a celebration at the event to thank Marie as she retires from the NCTJ’s shorthand board this year.

Marie is the author of Teeline Gold Standard for Journalists, the vital textbook aid used by students up and down the country to achieve 100 words per minute.

Joanne said: “Marie has been involved with the NCTJ for more than 30 years, chairing the board as our chief examiner for ten of these.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to her for all her work over the years and wish her all the best in her retirement.”

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