A unique form of bingo and a challenge cup inspired students to learn their shorthand over the past few days as part of the National Council for the Training of Journalists' (NCTJ) Shorthand Week.
JMU Journalism shorthand teacher Sue Green held fun competitions for students to get more involved and enjoy the art of shorthand.
Level one students were treated to shorthand bingo, played not with numbers but with reduced outlines and groupings used in Teeline. First year student, James Beard, said: ‘‘It’s a good skill to have and it’s also fun to learn.’’
Level two and three students took part in a shorthand challenge cup. This competition saw two names drawn out of a hat at a time and passages read out. The person to write back the passage with fewer errors got through to the next round. The semi-final and the final speeds were read out at nothing less than 90 words a minute.
Sue Green commented: ‘‘It’s all a bit of fun but it’s also encouraging people to try different things.’’
The NCTJ marked shorthand week with the launch of a new textbook, ‘NCTJ Teeline Gold Standard for Journalists’ and a high-profile radio interview by NCTJ Chairman, Kim Fletcher.
Talking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Mrs Fletcher said: ‘‘The notion of learning shorthand demonstrates the dedication to the craft. It means that in a day where so many people are blogging and calling themselves journalists, you go and take the trouble to learn shorthand and it suggests you’re serious about things.’’
By Amy Swift, News Editor
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Level one bingo; new NCTJ shorthand textbook; Shorthand teacher Sue Green