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AJE: BJTC and NCTJ – a necessary, but unlikely, marriage?

June 22nd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Training

“Just don’t mention the m-word – ‘merger’,” whispered my neighbour at Friday’s Association of Journalism Education (AJE) conference before we entered the final session on the role of the accrediting and qualification bodies and the future of journalism training in the UK.

Efforts to bring the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) together under a Joint Journalism Training Council forum are ongoing and having spoken to interested parties before, Journalism.co.uk has been told that while a single accrediting body is desirable, the two groups are very different beasts, with different structures and remits.

According to panellist at the event and BJTC secretary Jim Latham, the next meeting between the two bodies is scheduled for this week.

“We [previously] allowed ourselves to become distracted by some issues that shouldn’t have got in the way (…) There should only be one accrediting body, but the devil is in the detail,” conceded Latham.

Going forward, less focus will be placed on the differences between the groups – in particular the NCTJ’s revenue streams – and what can be done jointly.

Both BJTC and NCTJ representatives on the panel where cautious about giving a merger date.

“I think Jim and I are largely in agreement about a single body. How we’re going to achieve that remains open to debate,” said Joanne Butcher, director of the NCTJ.

Demand for a single accrediting body was challenged by some members of the audience, support by others.

“The world has changed the definition of what a journalist is. Convergence isn’t the future, it’s already happened,” said Tim Luckhurst, professor at the University of Kent’s Centre of Journalism.

“I only wish we could have one gold standard body (…) It cannot happen quickly enough. It needs to have a single set of exams. The NCTJ wants to make its mark – one way it could do this is by setting a single gold standard for journalism.”

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Second dose of Stephen Fry: transcript from Digital Britain – ‘I don’t need to be re-skilled into anything’

May 12th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Events, Journalism

Another dose of Fry this morning, in an earlier post we reproduced yesterday’s comments to the BBC about journalists and expenses.

Courtesy of Malcolm Coles, here is the full transcript [below video] of Stephen Fry’s presentation at Digital Britain on April 17. Fry’s appearance caused a little stir that day, not least for the way he was introduced onto the stage by the BBC’s Nick Higham:

“Stephen is, one of the organisers told me beforehand, the representative at this conference of the ordinary person, frankly: if that’s what someone thinks the ordinary person is like, then someone needs to take them aside and fill them in…”

Some of Fry’s comments relate to technology more broadly, but some interesting points on media, and keeping the web ‘organic’:

“You talk about the BBC doing a digital switchover, as if that’s the same thing as the world-wide web.”

“We’re moving from a world, in which no-one knew or saw the point of, online world, into something [where] everybody has reserved to themselves some special insight into how it’s to affect us.”

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Rebekah Wade’s first public speech in full

January 27th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Newspapers

If the Wordle and other coverage isn’t enough, here’s the Hugh Cudlipp speech by the editor of the Sun, Rebekah Wade, in full [note: may have differed very slightly in actual delivery]:

The challenging future of national and regional newspapers is now the staple diet of media commentators.

If you have been reading the press writing about the press you’d all be forgiven for questioning your choice of career.

I’m not denying we’re in a tough place – we are.

But I don’t want to use this speech to make grand statements on the future of our industry.

I want to talk to you about journalism.

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