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January 30, 2008

Students to get greater say on NCTJ-led courses

By Dave Lee STD

Journalism students studying on NCTJ accredited courses will now be able to have their say on how and what they are taught.

On 15 February, the NCTJ will hold its first student council, inviting a representative from each of the 41 accredited journalism schools to take part.

‘We have involvement with everybody else in the industry, listening to what the papers are saying to us with regards to what they’re looking for in students,’says Shevon Houston, Events, Training and Diversity Administrator for the NCTJ.

‘And we really need to listen to our students to get their views and issues with the NCTJ training scheme.”

The council is a fresh attempt at giving the work of the NCTJ greater transparency, and helping it adapt to an ever-changing media climate. In December 2007, students studying with the Up To Speed journalism school took the first ever NCTJ online exam, in which they had to adapt print stories for a web audience.

Houston hopes that the new council will help the NCTJ innovate further, and act as an effective channel of communication between students and tutors.

Joanne Butcher, Chief Executive of the NCTJ, believes that the student voice is very important.

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‘Many of them now have to pay thousands of pounds to fund their own training so it’s only right that we provide a forum for them to let us know exactly what they think about the way we do things and how we could improve the quality of journalism training.”

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