NCTJ Essentials.

When starting my Journalism diploma-having received the official letter-I was beyond excited. My line of thinking was generally: “This is my CALLING”, or even an excited “WHEN DO I START?”

The idea of this course is to equip you for tools to become a Journalist, including Shorthand, Law, and much more. Within the industry, there is no set way as to how to ‘break in’; you can do a degree, but a lot of editors I have worked with prefer this diploma.

So: here’re some essentials I use in this course!


We were told that we would need what is above, for varying reasons, but you can add in some things-such as pens, planners, headphones, lunch money, train ticket holder and more. But, going left to right, I thought I would show you what I’m using.

1: Teeline Gold Standard For Journalists. This is basically an instruction book for how to learn Shorthand-and I really like the layout, and how everything, mostly, is explained simply. Although this unit will probably end up being the bane of my life..

2: Oxford English Dictionary. Because, when working with words, you need a dictionary.

3: Shorthand notebook: I have two of these; one for the classroom, and one for at home (in other words-one for the lectures, the other for practice in my own time.) They have to be the reporters version, as shown above, otherwise shorthand can be, well, difficult.

4: Address book: Or, in other words, your contacts book!

5: Pens: secretly ever since that we were told we’d need these, I’ve been accumulating a collection alongside these. I like to have one that you can grip, actually feel, and that makes my shoddy handwriting look half decent.

6: Essential Law For Journalists’ Book: one of the units is law, which is all about what you can and can’t do as a Journalist. This, basically, is the ultimate handbook! It sort of follows on from my Politics A Level-as some things in this we did touch upon-so I really like this book.

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5 thoughts on “NCTJ Essentials.

  1. Hackette says:

    Hello, a book I found really helpful when learning shorthand was “Teeline Fast” by Ann Dix. Really simple and I got my 100wpm in 6 months.
    Good luck!


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