News & Awards

Newcastle Graduate Wins Journalist of the Month

A Graduate from the Press Association news reporting course in Newcastle has won a journalist of the month for February from the NCTJ.

After gaining his NCTJ qualifications at Press Association Training in Newcastle, Ben joined the EDP as a junior reporter in 2011. He was named the Regional Press Awards business and finance journalist of the year 2013.

“By the time I was accepted onto an NCTJ course, I was desperate to become a journalist. Up until that point I felt like I had exhausted every avenue trying to get into the profession.

“There were plenty of late nights pouring through local government and media law textbooks. Shorthand seemed impossible, and was made all the more worse when other trainees seemed to pick it up like a forgotten language.

“What made the course so enjoyable was the fact that you were treated like a professional journalist from the start. You were expected to work a news patch, build contacts, and, if you were lucky, you would be rewarded by seeing your stories appear in the daily newspapers linked to the college, the Newcastle Chronicle and The Journal. It certainly stoked up plenty of competition among the trainees.

“You were also regaled with stories of ex-pupils who went on to become big-hitters on national newspapers - some of which came back to talk to us while we were studying. There was a real sense that you were not only entering a great profession, but following in the footsteps of your heroes.

“Journalism is a profession which asks a lot of you. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. But in return you get an insight into people’s lives – their joy and their pain – which is unique privilege."

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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.'

Jess Sheldon // Showbiz Reporter, Daily Express

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