I looked at the NCTJ when I started the Goldsmiths MA in the mid-1990s and I decided not to apply for NCTJ accreditation for much of the reasons that we've heard so far. I felt it was far too narrow and it positively prevented a postgraduate course from looking at the industry or in any way interrogating the job of a journalist. The idea is because basically the NCTJ is run by the industry, it seeks simply to imprint industry ideas on teaching.
It seems to me that at postgraduate level, young people should be asked to think about what journalism is and what their role as a journalist would be and very particularly to think about the power that journalists have once they are actually working, so that we at Goldsmiths, we really think that theory and practice need to work together and that ethics needs to be part of what you do from the moment students come in the door because they need to be constantly challenged with ethical questions.
If you put the straitjacket of an NCTJ, very kind of nuts and bolts, it's very tick boxy. If you put that straitjacket on top of a postgraduate course, I felt you would actually be stopping students from thinking about what they were doing and we like to think that what we do at Goldsmiths is encourage people to think. It's very importantly part of what we do.