Diversity fund alumni pass NQJ exams to become senior reporters

Two former Journalism Diversity Fund recipients have achieved senior reporter status after passing the National Qualification for Journalists (NQJ) exams.

Becky Parker and Katie Richardson both successfully completed the industry’s professional qualification for trainee journalists.

Becky, who won a bursary in 2012 to study at Cardiff University, is currently working as a reporter for Weston Worle & Somerset Mercury. She said: “I am absolutely delighted with my results and am thrilled to be a senior reporter – it is so fulfilling when you achieve everything you have worked hard for. I could not have done it without the support of the Weston Mercury newsdesk and I am honoured to be a part of the team. Thanks also to the diversity fund, which helped me with my first step onto the ladder.”

Katie completed her preliminary training at News Associates London in 2013 and now works as a reporter for the Northern Echo. She said: “I was thrilled to find out I’d passed my senior exams, it’s been a tough couple of years with three different jobs and late nights revising so the sense of relief was great when I got the news.

“I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today without the help of the Journalism Diversity Fund who had faith in me, probably more than myself, so I will always be eternally grateful that I got that chance.

“My experience so far has been diverse in itself and the advice I would give to anyone else thinking about being a journalist is to just believe in yourself and keep going even when you feel like giving up.”

The NQJ for reporters is divided into four sections: an e-logbook; a news interview; a news report paper; and a media law and practice paper.

Trainees must complete at least 18 months employment before they are eligible to sit the exam.

Employers who support the programme register trainees with the NCTJ and an e-logbook, providing evidence of training and experience, is completed before taking the exams.

Applications to the Journalism Diversity Fund are now being accepted for courses starting in the 2015/16 academic year. The deadline for cohort 2 is Wednesday, 27 May. An application form can be downloaded here.

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