News Associates won ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence for the second time, while two graduates also scooped top prizes.
The innovation of the year award celebrates the new and exciting ways NCTJ centres are teaching and inspiring their journalists.
News Associates was recognised for our trainees’ multimedia coverage of the death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in the first few weeks of their course – producing 142 articles in 11 days. Judges praised our coverage as ‘a highly innovative project, which turned breaking news into a fast turnaround learning environment’.
News Associates also won the innovation of the year award in its inaugural year in 2020 for adapting teaching styles and exercises for remote learning, keeping up morale for trainees and running a series of free online workshops open to everyone.
News Associates editorial development manager Lucy Dyer said: “Monday September 5 really set the tone for what was about to be a very busy news week for our incoming fast-track trainees in London and Manchester.
“Little did they know a new prime minister on their first day wouldn’t be the biggest story they’d cover on their 22-week course. It wouldn’t even be the biggest story they’d cover that week.
“In induction we always say the most important words on the weekly timetable are ‘subject to change’ and that came into force when we altered the timetables to enable our journalism trainees to cover the story of a lifetime – the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
“News Associates trainees camped on the streets in Parliament Square, interviewed Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, produced a 16-page e-edition and much more. “They spoke to members of the public outside Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, The Queue, and lined the streets gathering content from central London to Manchester.
The incredible work of our teams in their remarkable coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II is recognised with innovation of the year at the Awards for Excellence in Journalism.Two weeks we’ll never forgot. pic.twitter.com/Z5RXV7zK4c — James Toney (@jtoneysbeat) March 2, 2023
“They presented videos for TikTok, filmed and edited vox pops for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, ran live blogs, reported and interviewed people across the UK, and uploaded and published stories using WordPress and InDesign.
“That’s more than some people do in a lifelong journalism career! We could not be more proud of the attitude from all our trainees during this unprecedented few weeks of coverage. “And of course huge thanks to the training teams in London and Manchester who made this possible.”
It was a great afternoon for News Associates graduates at the awards hosted at Twickenham Stadium.
News Associates graduate and inaugural recipient of the BCOMS and Chelsea FC bursary Um-E-Aymen, now a journalist at BBC Sport, won student sports journalist of the year 2022.