News Associates trainees dominate NCTJ Student of the Year 2023 shortlist

A massive four out of the six graduates on the NCTJ Student of the Year 2023 shortlist trained at News Associates.

Eve Bennett (Sky News), Bethan Finighan (Kennedy News and Media), Noah Keate (POLITICO Europe) and Molly Pavord (Splash News) make up two thirds of the shortlist, which celebrates the students who achieved the highest marks in their NCTJ in Diploma in Journalism exams in the 2022/23 academic year.

Eve, Noah and Molly all trained on a full-time fast-track course in London. They kicked off their studies producing award-winning coverage of the death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Bethan studied on a part-time course in Manchester, where she played a pivotal role in our coverage of the coronation of King Charles III and the local elections in Greater Manchester.

Bethan is also nominated for trainee feature of the year at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence.

Eve said: “I’m truly honoured to be nominated for NCTJ Student of the Year alongside so many talented journalists. It’s especially nice to be shortlisted alongside two of my course mates from News Associates!

“A huge thanks to my News Associates tutors for all their support throughout the course, I couldn’t have done it without their guidance and expertise.”

Bethan said: “I’m thrilled to be shortlisted for NCTJ Student of the Year. Completing my NCTJ alongside a full-time job was so much harder than I could have anticipated, but it’s so rewarding seeing the hard work pay off.

“I couldn’t recommend News Associates enough. The incredible tutors are there every step of the way to offer support and guidance. I could not have achieved any of it without their encouragement.”

Noah said: “I’m delighted and overjoyed to have been nominated. Thank you to the excellent News Associates team, whose help, support and advice during my time studying was invaluable.”

Molly said: “It’s an honour to be shortlisted for the NCTJ Student of the Year 2023 award alongside two of my fellow course mates.

“I’d like to thank all the staff at News Associates for their continued support during and after our studies. The intensity of the fast-track course has set me in good stead for a dynamic career in media.”

News Associates course director (postgraduate courses) Graham Moody said: “It’s fantastic to see so many News Associates trainees on the Student of the Year shortlist. It’s a real testament to their hard work that they did so well in their studies.

“As much as we can provide them with the resources, it’s down to them to put the hours in and graft and they certainly did that.

“All that hard work has seen them go into great jobs where they are using the skills they learned with us every day.

“Having taught Noah, Eve and Molly in London it was always obvious they were destined for great things and being shortlisted for this is, I am sure, the first of many accolades coming their way!”

News Associates head of journalism Manchester Alice Gregory said: “We are thrilled to see Bethan on the shortlist for the NCTJ Student of the Year award. It is testament to the hard work and dedication she put into the course.

“Achieving such high grades across all the modules of the NCTJ Diploma is a fantastic achievement. To do so on a part-time course while also working is a reflection of her commitment and tenacity.”

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Forbes said: “Congratulations to all those who have been shortlisted for the performance awards for achieving the best results in our professional qualification.”

Elsewhere, News Associates graduates make up more an a quarter of the entire NCTJ Awards for Excellence 2023 shortlist.

Thirteen News Associates graduates feature in the shortlist across 11 categories – with two appearing twice!

Max Kendix (The Times) is nominated for student news journalism and student data journalism, while Jack Fifield (The Oldham Times) is up for trainee data journalism and the community news project award.

There was a record 699 entries across 17 categories for the annual awards, which highlight the achievements of individuals with promising journalism careers ahead of them and those doing outstanding work in the media and training sector.

News Associates graduates are nominated across news journalism, sports journalism, top scoop, features, podcast, data journalism, student project of the year and the community news project category.

News Associates editorial development director Lucy Dyer said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to see so many of graduates shortlisted across such a wide breadth of categories in the NCTJ Awards for Excellence.

“It’s testament to their incredibly hard work while studying for the really tough NCTJ Diploma in Journalism and our amazing journalism training teams in London and Manchester for constantly updating and innovating our courses so our graduates are prepared for the ever-evolving multimedia journalism landscape.”

The NCTJ Awards of Excellence presentation ceremony will take place at the Royal College of Physicians in London on Friday, March 22.