News reportingNews course testimonials

This is what our former trainees say about the course.

Jess Sheldon

Jess Sheldon - ''Doing the course gave me the confidence that I needed to enter into the world of journalism and to apply for jobs that, four months earlier, I thought I would never be able to get.''

I'd heard great things about the course so I knew it was the right decision for me before I had started, but PA still managed to exceed my expectations. From the advice and contacts that the tutors show they have genuine interest that they have in each and every student, it would be hard not to feel thoroughly supported by the PA Training team. They really do go above and beyond to help you - even after the 17 weeks are over. 

Most importantly, doing the course gave me the confidence that I needed to enter into the world of journalism and to apply for jobs that, four months earlier, I thought I would never be able to get. The course is so sociable too, which is really important, and we all came away with friends for life.

The course is hands-on from the start, and it was easily the most productive 17 weeks of my life. Now that I'm putting the skills I've learnt into practice full-time, I can see just how crucial each of the modules are - and learning shorthand has made my life so much easier. I chose the fast-track NCTJ because I felt it would be much more practical than a masters, and it was definitely the right decision for me. The Press Association is a well respected name, and I think having the association with them can really make journalists stand out.

Jess Sheldon // Showbiz Reporter, Daily Express

Georgia Chambers

Georgia Chambers - 'I left PA with more confidence in myself and in my profession, knowing I will be able to walk into any newsroom with the capabilities to thrive as a journalist.'

Reflecting upon my 17 weeks at PA, I realise I walked into the office every day loving every minute of what I was doing, and it’s not often you get the chance to say that about your work. From a relentless syllabus of law and government to dreaded shorthand practice, whilst I’m not sure it got any easier; it certainly became more enjoyable with each passing day and my tutors encouraged me to the point where I had no doubt in my mind that I was more than capable of achieving. 

The tutors are not joking when they say the course is intense, but this is all in preparation for the kind of pace you will be expected to work at in a newsroom environment. How they manage to cram in so much training into 17 weeks is quite remarkable, and from workshops in data journalism to video and radio production, they make sure no specialism of journalism, however niche, is left neglected. As cliché as it sounds, the skills I’ve learned and the contacts I’ve made will last a lifetime.

My fellow trainees became my friends, fan base and support network and their incredible talents have made me very excited about what they have to offer the future of journalism. I left PA with more confidence in myself and in my profession, knowing I will be able to walk into any newsroom with the capabilities to thrive as a journalist. 

Georgia Chambers // Ex Trainee, Autumn 2017

Ally Darlow

Ally Darlow - 'Hands down I'd recommend it to anyone interested in journalism.'

The last 17 weeks have been absolutely amazing. I've met so many people - students and tutors - that have really helped and inspired me along the way. I couldn't have asked for a more enjoyable, memorable and exciting experience than the one I've had at PA. Hands down I'd recommend it to anyone interested in journalism. 

I went into the course not knowing what to expect and questioning my ability and came out confident that I could go into my ideal career choice. A couple of months after the course and I've got my first job in the industry that I previously thought was impossible to break into and I have the incredible tutoring of PA to thank for it.

Ally Darlow // Full time Freelancer, Snack Media

Conor Matchett

Conor Matchett - 'I wouldn't feel anywhere near as confident in finding a job'

Wow, where do I start. I have learned an awful lot. But putting Law, government and shorthand aside, I think confidence has been the area I have improved the most in. 

Having your copy and work being discussed in front of your peers seemed daunting at first. However, this experience made me recognise my skills as well as acknowledge the things I need to work on and prepared me for the real world of journalism (where not everybody is going to agree with your ideas/opinions). 

The help and support from tutors at PA, has been invaluable, they gave me a push when I needed it and a listening ear when things got stressful. 

Conor Matchett // Junior Reporter, Eastern Daily Express

Charles Capel

Charles Capel - 'There really is no better place to train in journalism than with the Press Association'

The tutors were real journalists who love the industry and they always had a moment to sit down with you to chat or give advice. Using decades of experience, the tutors always had anecdotes or examples to back up what they were telling you. There really is no better place to train in journalism than with the Press Association. 

The NCTJ course was the kickstart I needed to get ahead in journalism. In today’s industry competency in video, digital journalism, and data is just as important as writing a great article. Training with PA opened doors that would have otherwise been closed.

Training with the next generation of journalists is a real honour, I have made some great friends (and contacts) for life.

Charles Capel // Internship (Business desk), CNN International

Jemma Crew

Jemma Crew - "Doing the Newcastle course was the best thing I ever did."

"The Newcastle course was 17 weeks of unrelenting work, practical challenges and fun. The tutors packed an extraordinary amount in, but it never got too much - Paul and Garry's jokes saw to that!

"We were treated like professionals rather than students from day one, and were regularly pitching stories to the news desk upstairs. There were also chances to shift at the Chronicle, Journal and Sunday Sun which gave everyone first-hand experience of what an average day in a newsroom is like (there is no such thing!). If you work hard and follow the tutors' advice then you will thrive.

"Doing the course was the best decision I ever made. I'm now lucky enough to have my dream job as a multimedia reporter on PA's London graduate scheme. I'm so proud of what my friends and I achieved during the course and immensely grateful to the course tutors for their encouragement, which continues even now.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat."

Jemma Crew // Multimedia Reporter, Press Association

George Martin

George Martin "The intensity of the training programme is the perfect preparation for being thrown in at the deep end at a national paper."

“The course has been invaluable in helping me find a job and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking to get more serious about a career in journalism.

"I learnt so much during my 17 weeks at PA, both in terms of technique and also from the myriad of successful journalists who came in to talk to us.

"The intensity of the training programme is the perfect preparation for being thrown in at the deep end at a national paper. Within minutes of starting work I found myself applying the legal theory which had been painstakingly memorised for the NCTJ exams.

"There were plenty of late nights and stressful moments, but I can honestly say it has all been worth it.”

George Martin // Daily Star, News Reporter

Jack Hardy

Jack Hardy - ​"Six months into my first journalism job and I struggle to think of anything the Newcastle PA course failed to prepare me for."

"I'm six months into my first journalism job and I struggle to think of anything the Newcastle PA course failed to prepare me for.

"Everything we learnt was made to fit effortlessly in to 17 weeks. It was impressively comprehensive - leaving me confident in doing everything from court reporting to play reviews - but not remotely rushed.

"The tutors are as integral to the course as the modules themselves. Their support and expertise are an invaluable asset to any aspiring reporter.

I made some fantastic friends and was lucky enough to get a great job as a result of this course, I thoroughly recommend it to anyone considering a career in journalism."

Jack Hardy // News Reporter, Press Association

Clara Strunck

Clara Strunck - "​The PA training course was definitely one of the best things I have ever done for my career."

"The PA training course was definitely one of the best things I have ever done for my career. The practical skills – especially shorthand, taught by the fiendish and lovely Sylvia – have turned out to be particularly important. The wonderful Andrew Knight knows everything there is to know about media law, which certainly prepared me for my first job at a national. As well as this, the course encouraged me to think of myself as a proper journalist, which meant I felt more confident pitching to big magazines and national newspapers.

"Undoubtedly one of the best things about PA, however, is the people you meet there – not only can I now count the excellent and established tutors as contacts, but also my brilliant fellow trainees, many of whom I’ve stayed in touch with.

"If you really want to pursue a career as a journalist, I would say that doing your NCTJ diploma at PA is one of the best decisions you can make. You leave qualified, confident and much more employable – and you make some great friends along the way."

Clara Strunck // Freelance Video Journalist

Laura Dennison

​Laura Dennison - “The PA course in London has been pretty invaluable for me"

“The PA course in London has been pretty invaluable for me, especially considering that I don’t have a degree.

"Not only did the course afford me great friends (including the tutors!), who I now meet up with regularly, I was also fortunate enough to be offered a job as a trainee reporter at SNAP.PA.

"The course is a lot of hard work and shorthand will probably give you a few sleepless nights, but it’s absolutely worth it in the end.”

Laura Dennison // Trainee Reporter, SNAP.PA

Madeline Ratcliffe

Madeline Ratcliffe - ​"Without a doubt it was the Press Association’s course that gave me the edge to get my job."

"Without a doubt it was the Press Association’s course that gave me the edge to get my job. From the confidence to write to editors asking to meet, and then throw myself into the freelance opportunities offered to me, to an invaluable grounding in reporting skills and law, and endless advice over CVs and covering letters. Not to mention the fantastic, funny and endlessly patient tutors who made it a joy to go in every day and are the best part of this course. Their dedication and enthusiasm was inspiring, and while you will have to be prepared for four months of hard work and full days, they are with you every step of the way. I came away with new friends, a bulging contacts book, and the assurance to sell myself as a journalist."

Madeline Ratcliffe // Producer, Sky News

Georgia Arlott

Georgia Arlott - "The tutors are experienced, inspiring, entertaining and supportive"

"I never have any hesitation whatsoever in recommending the London Press Association course to aspiring journalists. The teaching is second to none, the course structure is hard work but so rewarding, and the skills that I learnt are of constant use to me. I know I would never have got the fabulous job I am in without it.

"The tutors are experienced, inspiring, entertaining and supportive.

"Most importantly, the course gave me the confidence I needed to succeed, and the skills I will need every single day for the rest of my career."

Georgia Arlott // Reporter, ITV News

Jon Bennet

Jon Bennett - "The 17-weeks I spent training in Newcastle gave me the best possible start to my career."

"The 17-weeks I spent training in Newcastle gave me the best possible start to my career.

"The training centre isn't some chin stroking, theory driven, media studies course. It's a Barry's Boot Camp for hacks and, if you qualify, you will emerge knowing how to generate exclusives, build incredible contacts and break into one of the most competitive industries there is.

"It taught me the fundamentals that I have used every single day in my life as a journalist and gave me the skills to work for newspapers, magazines and in broadcasting."

Jon Bennet // Former News Editor, Sky

Michael Race

Michael Race - "The teaching is first class."

"Best thing I've ever done.

"The teaching is first class.

"But the atmosphere is even better.

"Only wish the course was longer!

"The course allows you to learn a lot about different types of people in a short space of time."

Michael Race // Oxford Mail

Alicia Watts

Alicia Watts - ​"​I'd never be where I am today without the PA course, it has opened so many doors for me."

"I'd never be where I am today without the PA course, it has opened so many doors for me. The staff are well trained and are all very encouraging. All the hard work pays off in the end, I couldn't recommend it more. I work on video at the MailOnline but also present Facebook live's for Daily Mail's page, and although we only did 1 week of video on the course, I still believe it prepared me for my current role. It has changed my life; I have made lifelong friends and I know I'll always have a rewarding and successful career."

Alicia Watts // Video Researcher, MailOnline

Sian Elvin

Sian Elvin - "I still use the skills I learned at PA in my job every single day, and it gave me a kickstart to my career with help from some really supportive tutors."

"It wasn’t until I started the NCTJ that I realised the reputation of the Press Association spoke for itself, whether I was talking to other journalists about the course, listening to high-profile speakers who came in, or when I started applying for jobs.

"This, along with the strong teaching structure of the course which gives trainees an excellent chance of passing the NCTJ diploma at a gold standard within just 17 weeks, makes me recommend the London course without hesitation.

"I still use the skills I learned at PA in my job every single day, and it gave me a kickstart to my career with help from some really supportive tutors.

"And most importantly of all, I found the course engaging, exciting and fun."

Sian Elvin // Reporter, Kent Live

Catherine Wyatt

Catherine Wyatt - "Without PA Training I wouldn't have my job. Employers value the name 'PA' and it certainly opens doors."

"Without PA Training I wouldn't have my job. Employers value the name 'PA' and it certainly opens doors. The teachers are supportive and have incredible contacts. They encourage you to aim high and help you get into national newsrooms - on my course people ended up on training schemes at the BBC, the Mirror and the Daily Mail. 

"The course really prepares you for any journalistic situation you might find yourself in - whether that's using shorthand, knowing the legal implications of stories, or the practical elements of knowing how to go out and find a story. My favourite part of the course was the way you're treated like a real, working journalist from day one. For example, on your placement you're fully expected to find and write great stories like a full time reporter. If you work hard and are determined, the PA course is a great way into journalism."

Catherine Wyatt // Trainee Journalist, Press Association

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