Megan FrenchSheffield graduate Megan French has won the Esso Award for her performance in news reporting in the National Council for the Training of Journalists NCE exams.

Megan, who was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Print Journalism in 2010, now works as a reporter at the Braintree and Witham Times.

Three other Sheffield journalism graduates were among 48 passes out of 107 candidates to take the exams for senior reporter status in March.

The other Sheffield successes were Winnie Agbonlahor, of the Nottingham Evening Post, Rachel Hovenden, of the Kent Messenger and Robert Setchell, of the Cambridgeshire Times.

The examiners said: “Megan produced a concise logical report which demonstrated a clear understanding of the subject. Her accurate shorthand and good news sense enabled her to include three of the best quotes in an easy to read story.”

Megan said: “The award came as a huge surprise as I was just so happy to have passed the NCE.

“I had a lot of support and training from my colleagues and would like to thank them all for their help. I am looking forward to carrying on as a senior reporter and all the new challenges it will bring.”

Encouraging signs

Commenting in the examiner’s report, chief examiner Steve Nelson said: “What can only be described as silly errors cost some candidates dearly, while the challenging interview caught several people out when it came to attention to detail.

“However, a classic news report scenario brought out the best from more than a few candidates, continuing a strong pass rate. There were encouraging signs, too, among the logbook entries and there were clear signs of guidance in the office – something that was shown to be lacking previously.”

There are four sections which make up the NCE: news interview; news report; newspaper practice; and logbook.