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He probably won’t thank me for saying so publicly, but congratulations are in order for Joe Nimmo. He’s had cause for celebration after passing the examination that qualifies him as a senior journalist.

Joe is the latest trainee recruited by The News to pass the National Certificate Examination (NCE, as we tend to say in the newsroom) set by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

It’s an important qualification for any young journalist – and for the newspaper itself.

For it shows that we invest in hiring good journalists and in training them properly in order to be able to continue to deliver the best and most comprehensive news service available in the area.

As well as having to submit a portfolio of their work during traineeship, examination participants are tested on news practice, news reporting and interview techniques.

It’s a tough test – fewer than half of those entering the latest NCE passed in all four sections.

One who did was Joe, and, as I say, I think his success shows once again the worth of our news offering.

Nowadays the flow of information is so much simpler, thanks mainly to the internet, and that is no bad thing.

But it has resulted in new platforms and audiences for enthusiasts – well-meaning or otherwise – who publish information that is not properly and professionally checked.

We know that, even if they first hear information elsewhere, many people will come to us to check our version of events, knowing that we apply to it the same rigour as that employed by the examiners who put young men such as Joe through their paces.

That commitment remains as strong today as it ever was.