News

NCTJ and SoE to debate the State of Training for Journalism

Posted on: November 4, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The Society of Editors and National Council for the Training of Journalists are to hold the year’s most important debate on the state of media training as part of the SoE’s Virtual Conference 2020.

Exploring issues of entry routes into the profession, the demand for ongoing professional development, the impact of Covid-19 on training requirements and the need to support diverse entrants into work, a panel of experts will debate what next for media training.

The evening ‘State of Training’ panel will be held in conjunction with the NCTJ on Wednesday 2 December at 6pm to hear from top figures in journalism training.

From the newsrooms, joining the discussion will be PA Media’s director of media training, Bridgid Nzekwu, while the debate will be chaired by SoE President Alison Gow, audience and content editor for Reach plc North West.

Discussing media training partnerships will be Sarah Brown, Facebook’s head of northern Europe news partnerships and Will Gore, head of partnerships and projects at the NCTJ, whose remits include Facebook’s Community Reporters scheme and the NCTJ’s Journalism Diversity Fund respectively.

To offer an academic perspective is Sam Cooper, journalism course leader at the Sheffield College, who made the switch to teaching last year after working at newsdesks including the Sheffield Star.

Topics such whether the public health crisis has shown up any training needs for journalists and how has journalism training at entry level changed, will also be explored in the last of the SoE’s virtual debates for the season.

Free registration for the debate is now open.

This debate is part of the Society of Editors’ Virtual Conference 2020 which will include four In Discussion with… keynote talks as well as eight panel debates held virtually over the course of November and early December.

The In Discussion with series will hear from Kamal Ahmed on the future of BBC News in a changing media landscape; Rachel Corp, newly appointed editor of ITV News; and the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon. The full programme of debates and talks is available here.

The conference is sponsored by Facebook Journalism Project and Camelot, which has supported the Society since 2001.

Meet the speakers of the debate:

Alison Gow, Audience and Content Editor North West, Reach plc

Elected President of the Society of Editors in November 2019, Alison Gow is Audience and Content Editor for the North West with Reach plc, and publisher of Laudable, a Google-funded collaboration between Reach and JPI Media to innovate and investigate opportunities for podcasts and audio for local news. Alison is a former newspaper editor and digital editor, with titles including WalesOnline, the Daily Post and the Liverpool Echo.

Sarah Brown, Head of News Partnerships for Northern Europe, Facebook 

Sarah Brown is head of news partnerships for Northern Europe at Facebook. Prior to joining the company she spent 15 years working as a journalist and in communications in organisations such as the BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera. She is based in London.

Sam Cooper, Journalism Course Leader, The Sheffield College

Sam Cooper is the journalism course leader at The Sheffield College. He teaches the NCTJ Multimedia Diploma as part of the college’s fast-track course, which is delivered across 28 weeks as well as the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production, regulated by the University of the Arts London. Sam made the switch to teaching in September 2019 after previously working on newsdesks at Sheffield Star, Rotherham Advertiser and Pontefract and Castleford Express. He is passionate about ensuring students are equipped with the skills needed in a modern-day newsroom.

Will Gore, Head of Partnerships and Projects, NCTJ

Will joined the NCTJ in June 2019, with particular responsibility for the oversight of partnerships and projects. He worked for ESI Media between 2011 and 2019, first as deputy managing editor across the group’s Independent and Evening Standard titles, then as executive editor for The Independent. Before that he worked at the Press Complaints Commission, joining as a complaints officer in 2000, and subsequently becoming assistant director, then director of external & public affairs.

Bridgid Nzekwu, Director of Media Training, PA Media

PA Media’s award-winning Director of Media Training.  ‘Outstanding Woman in Professional Services’ at the 2018 Precious Awards.  Bridgid oversees the provision of media training, PR/Comms training courses and media/comms strategy services for PA’s clients.  She joined PA in 2014 and is a specialist in preparing high-profile speakers and spokespeople for media interviews, crisis/hostile interviews, Select Committee appearances, major speeches, panels.  Over 20 years in the top-flight of broadcast journalism (including 10 years as a presenter and reporter at Channel 4 News) and 10 years in the field of specialist communications training (including 7 years at PA Media).