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NCTJ launches new online skills academy for journalists

Posted on: October 21, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has today launched a new Google-backed online academy aimed at helping journalists at all stages of their careers improve their skills.

The Journalism Skills Academy, which has received the backing of Media Minister John Whittingdale MP, will offer courses for journalists on subjects including the essentials of media law, writing for the web, and fact-checking and verification.

The academy is centred on a new e-learning platform which will also give users access to video masterclasses led by experts, careers information such as CV and cover letter tips from editors, as well as allowing journalists to refresh their shorthand using online quizzes.

Supporting the initiative John Whittingdale, Minister for Media and Data, said: “High quality journalism is one of this nation’s great strengths and through the pandemic journalists have continued to get trusted news and information out to keep people in the know.

“But to maintain the excellent journalism we benefit from we need people to have the right skills. The NCTJ’s Journalism Skills Academy will provide vital training to help journalists navigate news in a digital age, regardless of where they’re at in their career. This is a terrific initiative and I encourage all those in the field to explore the opportunities on offer.”

The JSA will also be the hub for all of the NCTJ’s distance learning programmes, including the National Qualification in Journalism, enabling journalists who do not have access to employer-led NQJ training to take the qualification online.

Joanne Butcher (pictured), chief executive of the NCTJ, said: ““The launch of the NCTJ’s Journalism Skills Academy marks a significant milestone in the charity’s development and the training we provide to support the UK journalism industry.

“Working with our partners, we aim to increase the range of learning resources available to journalists throughout their careers and to widen access to our training and qualifications.

“Although planned long before the pandemic, remote working and learning have made the vision we have for the JSA to revitalise a culture of ongoing professional development across the journalism industry even more vital.

“I’d like to thank Matt Cooke and everyone at GNI for the wonderful support they have given us to reach this point and to the NCTJ team for their outstanding work on this exciting new project.”

Matt Cooke, head of partnerships and training at the Google News Lab – supporting the initiative, said: “We’re working with the NCTJ to help them launch this new digital hub for journalists working in news organisations across the country, broadening their access to essential training opportunities and new qualifications.

“We’re delighted to support the Journalism Skills Academy as it evolves the NCTJ’s crucial work to empower journalists throughout their careers.”

Explore JSA’s e-learning platform here.