A quartet of journalists based at Scottish newspapers have been awarded one of the top professional qualifications from the industry's leading training body, which can only be gained after a minimum 18 months' full-time employment with a newspaper or news agency.
Shona Gossip and Declan Harte, both from the Press and Journal, were joined by Julie Gilbert, from the Clydebank Post, and Stacey Mullen, from the Motherwell Times, to be awarded a National Certificate Examination from the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
To be eligible, candidates must have passed all of the NCTJ’s preliminary exams as well as having undertaken a period of 18 months’ full-time employment on a newspaper or news agency (Johnston Press trainees are required to undertake 24 months).
Some 117 people took the NCE, with 74 passing – a pass rate of 63 per cent.
The number of candidates was down on recent years – indicative, perhaps, of the economic climate, according to the examiners.
Of the 117 entrants, 37 were first-timers and 80 were re-sit candidates. The pass rate among re-sit candidates was 71 per cent and first-timers was 45 per cent.