Chasing the Accreditation Dream by Lily Canter, Sheffield Hallam University
A third of the UK’s 300 undergraduate and postgraduate journalism courses are accredited by at least one of the main accreditation bodies (NCTJ, BJTC, PPA) illustrating the marketing value universities place on such schemes in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Yet questions continue to be raised amongst academics and practitioners over the ongoing value and relevance of such accreditation schemes in a diversifying industry that currently places great emphasis on digital skills. This exploratory research is the first independent study to date to examine the value of accreditation to employers via interviews with 14 editors representing all sectors of the industry. The findings depict a changing landscape where writing skills and digital skills are held in equal regard and work experience takes precedent over qualifications. It also reveals that accreditation is not a key factor in the employment of entry-level journalists.
KEYWORDS: accreditation; journalism; education; employment; digital skills; professionalisation