NCTJ to make shorthand optional

The National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) has today released a statement revealing plans to make its shorthand qualification optional for some of its accreditation.

The change comes after years of increased pressure to make shorthand less of priority in the ever-changing, developing world of new media.

The NCTJ chairman defended their decision to make shorthand optional on some of its courses, with the ‘gold standard’ of 100 words per minute still the requirement for all news-based journalism students.

Kim Fletcher, chair of the training body, said: “Our job at the National Council for the Training of Journalists is all about standards. We need journalism to have certain standards. We are not abandoning standards, we are saying there are certain jobs in journalism that perhaps in future you can do without shorthand.”

Shorthand isn’t the only alteration in the NCTJ shake-up. The Public Affairs module is also becoming optional, as well as media law court reporting and broadcast journalism.

The core journalism modules are: e-portfolio, ethics and regulation and media law and regulation.

Fletcher continued: “We’ve fought for years against quite a lot of opposition to keep shorthand. But the whole world of journalism is changing so quickly” and “lots of journalists are going to need to do different things working for new media organisations”.

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