News Associates trainees recognised for NQJ performances

Two News Associates’ graduates have scooped top awards for exceptional performances on the National Qualification for Journalism (NQJ).

Andrew Nowell, who trained at News Associates Manchester, won the Pamela Meyrick award for the best NQJ performance in the north of England and north Wales and for his work as a senior reporter on the Wigan Evening Post.

Lizzie Dearden won the Ted Bottomley Award for her NQJ media law and practice exam with the judges saying her ethics answer was near perfect.

Andrew said: “I was extremely surprised and honoured to receive the award. To be honest I was relieved to have passed the NQJ at all as I wasn’t sure how well the news interview had gone, so to receive the memorial award was just incredible.

“The letter also arrived the day before our office Christmas lunch, where my editor presented me with a bottle of champagne, which was extremely nice.”

Lizzie, who works for the Ilford Recorder, graduated in February 2012 from News Associates in London.

She said: “I wasn’t expecting to pass at all so the award was an incredible surprise. I knew the exam would be tough, especially with the recent changes to anonymity and defamation law, so I was pleased to get through it.

“It’s nice to stand in good stead for challenging barristers in court and dealing with breaking crime at work.”

Director of training Richard Parsons wished both all the best for their future careers which have clearly got off to such good starts.

He said: “We were all over the moon for Andrew and Lizzie although it was not a surprise as they were both excellent trainees and I know they are highly thought of at their respective papers.

“It has been a vintage awards season for News Associates as our graduates won six awards and we got named the top journalism school in the UK. Long may this success continue!”