“I have been in education since I was 4 years old, and I cannot wait until these exams are over.”

NCTJ: Not Long Now.

The Christmas break is over and it’s time to go back to college. I don’t feel like I’ve done nearly enough revision yet for all my exams, but I did have a great Christmas and there is still time to revise!

Today, I submitted my portfolio, hooray! That’s one stress out the way, and something I don’t need to focus on anymore.

Even when it was 100% complete, I was nervous to click ‘Submit’, and kept going back to check everything was right, and I hadn’t got some awful spelling mistakes…

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And then I finally submitted it…

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And then it was all confirmed… eeekk

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I feel like I had to take pictures, to document my happiness, relief and prove that it was all done. I remember a couple of posts I have written about this course, that have included the phrases ‘I am really worried about my portfolio’ or ‘I don’t know how I’m going to get everything published’ and now it’s done, and there’s no more worrying!

This afternoon I have been concentrating on PA and Law revision and there is SO MUCH TO DO. I’m sure this would be easy enough to get my head around if I was doing the year-long course, but in a matter of three months I have learnt law and public affairs for the first time ever and now having three hour exams on them. I’ve spent so much time trying to understand it all and now I actually have to remember it, and that seems to be the hard part.

I’ve gone over the PCC code today in Law…

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Yes, there it is, stuck on my wall, right in front of my desk, pretty much at eye level – if I forget any of this I will be annoyed! In law though, it makes me realise how important it is for journalists to do what they can and can’t do, especially with guidance from the PCC, (although this is all changing now after the Leveson enquiry). But as an example, we do a module on privacy in law, and harassment, not intruding on people’s private lives or family lives especially in matters of health. At the moment I am totally engrossed in Cheryl Cole’s biography, and I am reading about her marriage breakdown and most recently when she got malaria.

She talks of the paps, and the journalists, as some sort of wild animals, who were asking her questions and photographing her when she was extremely ill, when she couldn’t cope. She says they didn’t treat her like a human being and hates them now. As soon as I read it, I thought of what I had learnt in privacy law. Of course, after having malaria and coming out of hospital she definitely has a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ (All NCTJ’ers will know what that means) and from what she says in her book, she could have sued for a lot in the way that journalists breached this, and harassment. In the end, she had to get an injunction against them, for the sake of her health. I don’t want to be a journalist who is perceived like this, and I never will be.

I have been googling and tweeting people for any advice in reporting, and found some articles that all say the same:

  • it’s the hardest exam to pass
  • they mark harshly
  • even if you’re amazing at it you will probably scrape a B, if that
  • blah blah blah we hate reporting blah blah blah

Although the title of this article did make me laugh:

On a completely separate note, I am going travelling in just over a month now, and thinking about all these exams, and planning travelling, is all making me go a bit mad. Today I thought, I have been in education since I was 4 years old, and I cannot wait until these exams are over.



4 thoughts on ““I have been in education since I was 4 years old, and I cannot wait until these exams are over.”

  1. Good luck with reporting! Half of my class failed it, despite getting all A’s in mock exams – there seems to be very little rhyme or reason to passing!

      • We’ve now been told that they mixed up the results and we’ll find out what we actually got tomorrow. Oh NCTJ, raising trainee journalists’ stress levels since 1951…

        But yes, all you need is a C. Hope the other exams go well too!

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