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NCTJ marks 60th anniversary with Belfast conference

By Gary Grattan

The National Council for the Training of Journalists chose Belfast as the setting for its 60th anniversary conference.

The event included a two-day Journalism Skills Conference and a gala dinner in the Banqueting Hall at Belfast City Hall.





Workshops and talks were held in the new Belfast Metropolitan College in Titanic Quarter and the University of Ulster's York Street campus in the city.





Senior members of the media in Northern Ireland - representing newspapers, magazines and broadcasters - gave presentations on a range of topics including 'politics and the media', 'business and financial reporting', 'lifestyle journalism' and 'digital journalism'.





Following the dinner at the City Hall the NCTJ presented a number of awards.





NCTJ Chairman Kim Fletcher said it was 'brilliant' to be having the event in Belfast.





"I was last here as a reporter in the 1980s so I haven't been back for over 20 years.



"So many things are the same - the hospitality and the warmth of the people here.





"You have this population that is just fascinated by current affairs and the media. It is the perfect place for an organisation such as the NCTJ to come for a conference,' he said.





Joanne Butcher, NCTJ Chief Executive, added: "We are thrilled to be in Belfast which has such an interesting and illustrious background in journalism and journalism training.



"Recently the Belfast Metropolitan College joined the University of Ulster as being one of the NCTJ-accredited journalism schools, so there is a great track record of training journalists here in Belfast.

"So I think it is appropriate that the NCTJ is celebrating its 60th anniversary with this backdrop."

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