The Society of Editors today announced the results of its training survey
(mostly of newspaper editors) concluding, among other things that editors think there are too many journalism courses.
"The vast majority [of editors] think it is important that training courses are accredited, but more than half said there are too many accreditation bodies, and a quarter would prefer them to be merged into one body," according to the report. Also "70 per cent thought web and mobile platform skills were absolutely core to mainstream journalism training" while trainees generally wanted "more lecturers who are in touch with modern newsrooms".
Following the presentation of the survey at the Society of Editors conference in Belfast today
, Joanne Butcher, chief executive, National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) concluded:
"It is a disgrace to see so many young people completing expensive courses and passing bogus qualifications that just don’t provide them with the vocational skills they need to get jobs or qualifications that editors have any faith in. We owe it to them to expose this scandal." (PDF download of full speech here
This seems to me to be an extraordinary statement. While I am aware of at least one former training organisation that has been accused of dubious practices, it hardly seems endemic. And, yes, there are many more training opportunities for journalists than existed 20 years ago but can you really conclude that standards have gone down as a consequence?
Journalism trainers and students, let me know what you think.