NCTJ Gold for Grimsby

Exciting news for Grimsby and the east coast as the Grimsby Institute has been accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) to offer its gold standard Diploma in Journalism course.

The 20-week full time fast track qualification will prepare any aspiring journalists for the demands of a fast-changing multimedia industry.

In the 21st century journalism has converged with journalists being expected to have the skills required to work across all platforms. Traditional broadcast and web skills are also needed by print journalists.

The course we offer will equip future journalists with the skills they need to be an effective reporter. You will learn shorthand, law and how government works all within the demands of a working newsroom.

With an NCTJ certificate on your CV, a prospective employer knows you have grasped the basics.

To gain entry on this course you will need to demonstrate an interest in current affairs at all levels; have 
a lively interest in people, places and events; 

good spelling, grammar and punctuation; a willingness to accept irregular working hours; 
an ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines
 and determination and persistence.

A Journalism Diversity Fund has been set up by those in the industry who want to support the training of journalists from socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

This industry fund is aimed at people without the financial means to attend NCTJ training courses. Applicants will need to demonstrate a genuine commitment to journalism and the potential to succeed.

The fund can help financially by paying course fees and living expenses, as well as providing a mentor, and helping to find work experience. To find out more about the fund and whether you would be eligible check out the website and to download an application form.

To apply for the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism you need to download an application form from the NCTJ website – www.nctj.comImageApplication forms must be returned to the NCTJ as soon as possible or at least six weeks before the start of the course.

If invited for an interview, you will be required to take a written test, based on current affairs knowledge, to test your English skills and writing ability.

You will also need to demonstrate a keen interest in working as a journalist by having undertaken work experience placement at a news organisation.

On finishing this qualification, if successful in getting a job on a newspaper as a junior then you can work towards getting your senior.

All learning will take place in our newsroom within the new University Centre. Candidates will have access to the latest TV and radio equipment.

This is certainly an exciting opportunity for anyone wishing to become a journalist and is a great way to break into the industry.



Seven, or as it used to be called Channel Seven, is a local community TV station based in North East Lincolnshire. It started out in 1998 and I joined it in that year. I’d left my job as a newspaper reporter to help come in and set up the news operation. For a while I worked on reception, before moving over to set the team up. There was a small team of us – Chris McRae, Rob Dabb, Andrew Redfearn, Tony Whiley (*he went to Sky News), Lee Byatt (*who went to Sky) and Dave Ward, plus volunteers like Stuart Hall and Del, who all went out filming features and producing content for a magazine programme called Scene On Seven plus others. We worked a lot with volunteers too.

There were our regular presenters, Michelle Portess and Gary Williams amongst many others including Dave Otter (GTFC Supporters’ Club) who presented a sports slot. It relied on their goodwill to do such a thing.

There was no budget and everything was done cheaply. Staff were happy to give their time to produce the programmes as they enjoyed it and cared

Emma Lingard presenting the evening news bulletin on Channel Seven, circa 1999

passionately about the channel and its relationship with the community.

The programmes included an evening bulletin, News on 7, magazine show Scene on Seven, which went out three times a week, a music programme and a live breakfast show presented daily by Chris. Alongside these shows, other producers made a variety of programmes including a watercolour art show.

And then there were the one off specials we produced. These were usually live. I can recall a 24 hour broadcast for some charity in which I interviewed someone in a bath of beans and during the full solar eclipse we did a half hour live show with studio guests and a phone link-up with a member of staff in Cornwall.

As well as the volunteers, this was the first time students from the NVQ 4 Broadcast Journalism and NVQ 3 Camera and Edit course based at Grimsby Institute joined us. The station was their base for work experience and what an experience they got. When I left the station in 2000 to have a baby, I ended going to work for the Institute and eventually took over the running of the NVQ programme and came full circle. Students to have graced the doors of the Immingham station include Chris Nundy, Robin Small, Keeley Donovan (who now presents the weather on BBC), Leanne Brown (BBC Look North), Minna Pisto (Finnish TV), Louise Adamou, Claire Muckart, Rowan Campbell, Lisa Crawford (all BBC) and many, many more who went on to great successes thanks to the experience they gained.

Seven is broadcast on VirginMedia 879 and is the longest running community television station. What made it great is that the people who worked there cared deeply about it. They were local people. The catchphrase was “The place to go to see people you know.” And it was. We had a presence each year at the Carnival and made sure we engaged with communities and covered the news in their area. Let’s hope some more students get the opportunity to produce programmes for it and get the experience needed to get jobs.

Industry interviews

I have done other interviews this week with more of our amazing and talented industry guests. Dougal Wilson, is a great guy, who directs short films, commercials and music videos.  He has won numerous awards for his work and was the man who directed the John Lewis, ‘Always a Woman’ commercial. Hear his interview Dougal Wilson interview .

BBC Writers’ Room paid us a visit and I caught up with Jo Combes to find out more about their work and what they look for in a script writer – Jo Combes interview .

And then one of my Year 2 Nat Dip Level 3 Print and Publishing students interviewed Robin Small about the Royal Television Society (RTS). Listen to her interview here Robin Small interview

Look out for an interview with script editor, Susan Everett, coming soon!