Two trainees top NCTJ Diploma in Journalism awards

Two News Associates trainees achieved the best NCTJ Diploma exam results in the country last year.

The NCTJ Diploma in Journalism awards recognise the trainees who achieve the highest exam results in each subject.

News Associates Manchester trainee Jack Tooth achieved the highest score in media law court reporting and London trainee Connor McLaughlin attained the best grade in journalism for a digital audience.

The results are for the 2020/21 academic year when 9,019 Diploma in Journalism exams were sat.

Jack, now a reporter at The Messenger and The Oldham Times, said: “I’m thrilled to win this award a year to the day since I sat the exam. Now I’ve been a reporter for almost 12 months, it’s clear this module, as well as media law, is one of the most important I did during the course. I’ve been trusted to cover a number of court cases, some of which earned national attention, and so much of this is down to what I learned at News Associates.”

News Associates Manchester head of journalism Alice Gregory said: “The NCTJ Diploma in Journalism awards are a fantastic recognition of those trainees who have worked particularly hard to achieve outstanding grades.

“It’s always great to see News Associates alumni on the list and we are thrilled Jack Tooth scooped the top court reporting accolade which reflects his hard work and dedication.”

News Associates London graduate Connor now works as a senior producer for Dan Wootton Tonight on GB News.

News Associates London head of journalism Graham Moody said: “Connor’s coursework on the riots in South Africa was an exceptional piece of journalism, delving into the causes of the first civil unrest in the country for 28 years.

“He showed great skill in compiling sources with detail and some very effective digital elements to score 79%.

“He deserves this award for the hard work he put into that piece and into his preparation for the exam which ultimately saw him score a very impressive 85%, giving him 82%.”

All winners get a certificate and a cheque for £250 from the award sponsor.

The award winners were announced in the latest NCTJ Diploma in Journalism Examiners’ Report.

Read about our graduates’ success at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence here.