Quartet of Scots educational institutions gearing up for new journalism qualification

THREE Scottish universities and one college are to offer a new journalism qualification, designed by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Perhaps this year but certainly next year’s intake of journalism students at Glasgow Caledonian, Robert Gordon’s and Strathclyde universities – plus Cardonald College, in Glasgow – will be studying to take exams for the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, which is replacing the current Certificate in Journalism.

The new qualification is aimed at training journalists to operate in a multimedia world.

These institutions have yet to decide if they will be offering the Diploma in September this year or September next year, as there will be a year of transition.

The Diploma was launched by editor-in-chief at The Herald, soon to become Sunday Post editor. In his capacity as chair of the NCTJ Journalism Qualifications Board, Donald Martin said: “We all now operate in a multimedia world. The boundaries between journalism sectors are no longer distinct.

“Employers like me are demanding multi-skilled journalists. And students, who are full of enthusiasm for this new world, want multimedia training and multimedia NCTJ qualifications.

“The NCTJ, in consultation with editors, trainers and trainees, has developed a set of new assessments that test the fundamental core skills of a multimedia journalist, and provide new recruits to the industry with a range of skills that allow them choice and transferability across the media.

The new qualification has been developed by editors, senior journalists and trainers who work in print, broadcast and online, as well as the NCTJ’s senior examiners.

The Diploma in Journalism is made up of five core subjects to be taken by all students and trainees plus two specialist options.

The five core mandatory subjects are: Reporting; Multimedia Portfolio; Shorthand; Essential Public Affairs; and Essential Media Law.

The specialist options are: Media Law Court Reporting; Video Journalism for Online; Sub-editing; Sports Journalism; Business of Magazines and Broadcast Journalism.

Most editors these days want trainee reporters to have the Certificate in Journalism before they take them on, and the Diploma will replace the Certificate.

Martin added that broadcast journalism is a new area for the NCTJ and that it has been building expertise and contacts to integrate broadcast skills into the core assessments.