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Celebrating top NCTJ awards for former trainees Imran and Chris

By Adrian Seal, Co-leader, Part-Time Diploma

One of the most rewarding parts of being a tutor, and I am sure my fellow colleagues would agree, is following the progress of our trainees after each course finishes.

During the seven years I have been at PA Training teaching on the full and part-time NCTJ Diploma courses, the quality of the jobs that trainees have secured and the awards they have won are testimony to the high regard in which the course is held throughout the industry.

From fledgling trainees in the first few weeks agonising over writing the perfect intro that nails the story, to completing the course with the Diploma under their belts and ready to land that first job, it’s what makes my tutoring at PA so rewarding.

After more than 30 years working in the industry, holding a number of senior editorial positions with Reach plc, I now feel that through my experience I am putting something back by training budding young journalists.

I was therefore particularly pleased last week to see that two of our former cohorts were recognised in the NCTJ best performance in a diploma exam awards. This was for candidates who sat Diploma in Journalism exams between November 2020 and September 2021.

Award winners

The Oxford University Press essential media law award went to Imran Marashli, who achieved an outstanding score of 94 per cent.

And Christopher Brackin, won The Mark Allen Group practical magazine journalism award with a mark of 90 per cent.

Both of these results were achieved from courses that due to the Covid pandemic were held almost entirely on Zoom – which in my opinion makes them even more outstanding.

Chris was on the full-time January 2021-May 2021 course and Imran the August 2020-December 2021 one.

Continuing the excellent PA Training track record

There is something of a tradition of PA trainees scooping the media law award, as former part-time course alumni Charlie Maloney also took the award several years ago. He is now has a successful career as an award winning journalist for a number of national newspapers and also teaches media law.

I can’t personally take any credit for these law successes, as it’s all down to my colleague Andrew Knight, our media law and public affairs expert tutor on the diploma courses.

What the trainees did next

Since completing the course Imran, is carving out a successful career working at AFP and I hope putting to good use the 120wmpm shorthand he achieved.

Chris was funded on the course by the JDF and showed a real flair for long form writing. My other memory of him was his coursework submission for the Journalism for a Digital Audience exam, which was a highly engaging read on: “Why Chelmsford’s ‘witches’ deserve their place on the local tourist map.”

Along with my colleague Tina Moran, I certainly know a lot more quirky facts about Christopher’s home town than when the course started. It is those kind of fond memories that stay with you long after the trainees have left.

I am sure he will not mind me sharing this link to his story on Chelmsford’s witches:

Why Chelmsford’s ‘witches’ deserve their place on the local tourist map | by Chris Brackin | May, 2021 | Medium

I look forward to toasting more successes for PA trainees on future Diploma courses, and congratulations again to Imran and Chris.

If you’re interested in becoming a future award winner, apply here.