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News Associates graduates make up quarter of NCTJ Awards for Excellence 2021 shortlist

Patricia Cruz



A quarter of all journalists on the NCTJ Awards for Excellence 2021 shortlist are graduates.

An incredible 17 out of 66 nominations on the prestigious shortlist – whittled down from a record 481 entries – studied for their NCTJ at in London or Manchester.

 staff and trainees at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence in Sunderland in 2019. The selection of eight trainees, staff and guests are all very smartly dressed. shortlisted graduates alongside staff at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence ceremony in 2019

Paul Kilbey (Manchester part-time grad and freelance journalist) and Elaine McCallig (London fast-track grad and journalist at The Independent) make up a third of the student of the year award nominations which recognises the graduate who achieved the best exam results nationally in the diploma in journalism.

Previously graduates Anna Schaverien (2017), Sara Oldfield (2016) and George Gigney (2015) have taken home this award.

Elaine said: “I’m absolutely over the moon to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award. A massive thank you to the tutors at for all the support, mentoring, and laughs along the way.

“I made friends for life at and I learned so much that I now use day-to-day in my job at The Independent.”

Paul said: “I’m thrilled to be nominated for the student of the year award, particularly because I received the news about an hour after a job rejection. Doing the diploma course part-time while keeping up my freelance work was really tough, but also rewarding, and I’m very grateful to Manchester.”

There is at least one alumni in each of the six main categories – news, sports, top scoop, features, podcast journalism and data journalism.

London part-time grad David Averre (Mail Online) features twice in the shortlist – once against fast-track grad Neha Gohil (The News Movement) up for student news journalism and once alongside sports journalism grad Tomás Hill Lopez-Menchero (Times Sport) for student sports journalist of the year.

David said: “I’ve been afforded with some fantastic opportunities in 2021, and to be shortlisted for an NCTJ Award for Excellence in both news and sports journalism really is the icing on the cake.

“I am hugely appreciative of the team at , who played a major role in helping me achieve this and opened a lot of doors for me!”

Tomás said: “I’m really pleased to be shortlisted for the sports journalism award. I had a great time studying for my NCTJ at and the best thing about the course was meeting so many like-minded people, each with their own unique area of sporting interest.

“I’m grateful to for having delivered the best possible learning experience during the pandemic and for all the opportunities the course gave me.”

London sports journalism alumni Josh Graham after his win in 2020

In 2020, student sports journalist of the year was awarded to London sports journalism graduate Josh Graham (Sportsbeat), who pipped course mate Rachel Steinberg (Sportsbeat) to the post – who is now representing in the trainee category!

Rachel said: “Wow! What an honour to be recognised by the NCTJ for the second year in a row. I’m especially proud to have made the shortlist with three stories covering the breadth of women’s sport, from football to motorsport and the Paralympics.

“I’m hugely grateful to Sportsbeat for giving me a limitless platform as one of the few people in the UK lucky enough to cover women’s sport full time – though I really hope that will soon no longer be such a rare thing to say!”

graduates made up the entire shortlist for the student sports journalist of the year category in 2020

London fast-track and part-time graduates Phoebe Dampare Osei (Yahoo News UK) and Sophia Alexandra Hall (Classic FM) are up against each other in the student top scoop category – while Sophia is also recognised on the equality, diversity and inclusion award shortlist!

Phoebe said: “I’m thrilled to have been shortlisted for the top scoop award. I want to thank for giving me the best possible foundation for my career and Yahoo UK for supporting me on my journey.”

Sophia said: “I was pretty hesitant when my tutors recommended I apply for the NCTJ awards, so hesitant in fact, that I waited until the final day to apply. But I’m so glad I did, as it’s incredibly affirming to have been shortlisted in two separate categories.

“I’m proud to be representing both #TeamNA and the JDF. Both parties have been so important to the start of my journalism career and I’m so grateful for their support. I can’t wait for the ceremony next year and I’m looking forward to meeting all the journalists shortlisted as well as the industry leader judges.”

It’s Manchester versus London with Callum Gaunt (Lancashire Telegraph) and Helen Brown (freelance) both up for student features, alongside Manchester fast-track alumna Dani Cole (Manchester Mill) in the trainee category.

Dani said: “I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted. It means a lot as I took a leap of faith and changed careers to become a journalist. There’s no doubt that doing the fast-track NCTJ course with has helped me get where I am today.

“The skills I’ve learned have been invaluable. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to everyone at Manchester for their support and expertise, and also to the Journalism Diversity Fund.”

Last year, Alex Diggins (Telegraph) of London part-time fame took home the gong for student feature writer of the year 2020.

Judges described Alex’s articles as ‘beautifully written, very interesting and totally absorbing’

Elsewhere and London fast-track alumna Carolina Herranz-Carr (ITV) is up for trainee podcast journalist of the year alongside journalists from Winchester Today and NewsShopper.

Carolina said: “I’m incredibly exited to be nominated in the podcast journalism category! I launched true crime podcast Trial by Media with fellow trainee Charlie Jones following our time at .

“Certainly, the media law and court reporting skills gathered at played a huge part in making this project possible.”  

Graduates from a whole host of cohorts are representing in the digital journalism categories.

Jacklin Kwan (Manchester fast-track) and Natasha Livingstone (London part-time) make up 50% of the student category while Matilda Martin (London fast-track) also makes up half of the trainee nominations!

Jacklin (freelance) said: “I’m beyond honoured to be shortlisted in this year’s awards. It seems like just yesterday I began taking my journalism dream seriously.

“I honestly couldn’t have found a more supportive place to begin my journey than New Associates. The skills and knowledge I learnt from the tutors and staff were invaluable, and it opened up so many opportunities for me!”

Natasha (Mail on Sunday) said: “I’m very grateful to have been shortlisted for an NCTJ award!

“Training part-time with was challenging but so rewarding. It enabled me to hone my skills as a journalist with great tutors who motivated us through many dark Wednesday evenings in lockdown!”

Matilda (Tes) said: “I am so excited to have been nominated for the data journalism category, especially for a story I am so passionate about.

“Well done to all nominated and thank you NA for your help and guidance! I’m so excited for the ceremony and to meet all the others who have been shortlisted.”

Friends of , News UK and Jem Collins from Journo Resources, are also up for the equality, diversity and inclusion gong, sponsored by the Financial Times.

editorial development manager Lucy Dyer said: “It’s so great to see our graduates recognised for their tireless efforts in the classroom and newsroom over the last year.

“I’m often asked in course interviews about the job prospects for our graduates and I think this shortlist underpins the platform gives you.

“I know I speak for our entire training team when I say how proud we all are of our trainees and alumni, and equally for our grads in thanking our delivery teams for the monumental effort they put in day in, day out. Well done everyone! ”

Manchester head of journalism Alice Gregory said: “Seeing so many of our graduates on this list of nominations makes us feel very proud. It’s a fantastic achievement at any time but seeing what they have accomplished during a pandemic makes it all the more impressive.

“The way they have handled the various challenges thrown at them and the standard of work they have produced is incredible. All have shown themselves to be excellent journalists – demonstrating resilience and a good work ethic – and each and every one of the nominees should feel as proud of themselves as we do!”

deputy managing editor Graham Dudman said: “The quality of all our journalism courses is second-to-none as the number of nominations from -trained journalists shows.”

In 2020 the team was over the moon to win the innovation of the year award which celebrates the new and exciting ways NCTJ centres are teaching and inspiring their journalists.

Graphic announcing  as the Winner of NCTJ Innovation of the Year award 2020 at the #NCTJawards.

Sky News correspondent Ashna Hurynag, who presented the award, said: “A huge congratulations to you! The judges said they felt there was an impressive, innovative and pioneering re-working of the course and timetable, with careful thought given to student welfare.

“The judges said it felt like a whole team effort, with a comprehensive list of webinars, Q&As and talks, with social media tips which made great use of an impressive list of alumni. Congratulations to you.”

A YouTube screen grab of a Sky News live stream of the NCTJ Awards of Excellence. Correspondent Ashna Hurynag is talking and the ticker along the bottom says: BREAKING NEWS NEWS ASSOCIATES WINS NCTJ INNOVATION OF THE YEAR AWARD Sky News correspondent Ashna Hurynag announcing the award at the virtual ceremony last year – see more here.

is officially the UK’s number NCTJ journalism school, as has been for six straight years.

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The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout



Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times ( – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post ( – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian ( – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News ( – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera ( – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters ( – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN ( – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist ( – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic ( – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica ( – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

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The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout



Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

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Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout



As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

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