The only way is ethics as city plays host to journalism conference

Mark Waldron, editor of The News, Portsmouth, during the conference.

Picture: Sarah Standing (161593-3555)
Mark Waldron, editor of The News, Portsmouth, during the conference. Picture: Sarah Standing (161593-3555)
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Ethics and the future of journalism were debated as Portsmouth played host to a national conference.

Industry experts converged on the city for the National Council for the Training of Journalists event at Highbury College’s city campus.

Richard Frediani, senior programme editor for ITV News 

Picture: Sarah Standing (161593-7195)

Richard Frediani, senior programme editor for ITV News Picture: Sarah Standing (161593-7195)

The conference set out to explore the latest developments in training and working practices, bringing together high-profile names from across the industry.

Among the highlights was a debate about ethics in the media.

Current affairs such as Prince Harry’s harassment claims and the impact of newspaper headlines were discussed.

Journalism skills for the future were debated with employers saying an emphasis on digital media was needed.

Mark Waldron, Editor of The News, led a panel discussion, adding: ‘When I started my career, after taking a course at Highbury, we trained using typewriters. In local news, the skills needed to become a journalist are changing.’

James Baggott, chief executive officer of Baize Group, an automotive media company in Gosport, said: ‘What’s important to me when employing journalists is their interest in cars.

‘Social media is vital when searching for stories.

‘Most jobs now demand skills in video and phones more than shorthand.’

As part of the conference, the NCTJ Awards for Excellence ceremony and a gala dinner were held at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, to celebrate the achievements of those involved in journalism education and training.

NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher said: ‘This is the NCTJ’s eighth annual conference and it’s great to return to Highbury and Portsmouth where many journalists trained years ago.

‘The NCTJ would like to say a huge thank you to Highbury and the University of Portsmouth.

‘There has never been a better time to discuss standards in journalism.

‘There’s so much flying around these days and the NCTJ has a big role to play in training for the future.’

Highbury College in Cosham has been training journalists for more than 50 years.

Esteemed former students such as ITN newsreader Mark Austin, BBC’s deputy political editor John Pienaar and BBC political reporter Alex Forsyth, who also worked for The News, have all made successful careers in the media industry.

Highbury, in partnership with The News, offers both a 20-week NCTJ fast-track course and one-year NCTJ diploma in journalism.

Students are based in the newsroom for three days a week and spend two days studying at college. Highbury is accepting applications for next year’s course from September 2017.

Stella Mbubaegbu, principal and chief executive of Highbury College, said: ‘We are exceedingly proud of the programme Highbury offers in journalism.

‘It is the jewel in the crown of courses we offer.

The latest innovation “classroom in the newsroom” is delivered by The News. The skills we teach are precious in today’s world.’

The event concludes today with the University of Portsmouth hosting digital court reporting and mobile journalism masterclasses

For more information, 
visit highbury.ac.uk/journalism