STUDENT pals have been earmarked as journalist stars of the future after they scooped national awards for their shorthand exams.
Friends Daniel Prince and Padraig Whelan are today accepting honours for getting perfect exam results in the journalism skill.
The speedwriting pair, who are both in the final year of sports journalism degrees at Sunderland University, will pick up the awards at a National Council for the Training of Journalists bash at Mary Ward House, in London.
As well as certificates, the duo will each also pick up a cheque for £250 from sponsors Ryman.
Daniel achieved a perfect result at 110 words per minute, while Padraig did the same at 100 words per minute.
Daniel, who last year completed an internship with the Echo’s sister paper The Shields Gazette, now hopes to make a career in the newspaper industry.
“It’s a hard thing to pick up at first. It’s like learning a new alphabet, but once you get into it and you start learning the outlines, it becomes easier,” said Daniel, 20, of South Shields.
“I had a feeling I had done well because I was getting 100 per cent on all the shorthand exams I’ve done before, but you’re never sure.”
Padraig, who hails from just outside Glasgow, said: “I thought I’d done enough just to pass the exam but had no idea I’d done this well.
“It was quite hard, but I didn’t even know there was an award for doing so well in the exam.
“All the same, I’m delighted with it.”
Daniel also paid tribute to shorthand tutors at the university’s St Peter’s Campus Media Centre, Susan Pickering and Elaine Hunt-Vincent, for helping him and Padraig to achieve such a high standard.
“They made it easier for us and have been a great help,” said Daniel.
Padraig, 20, said: “The lecturers say we are joined at the hip, but it’s been good to go through the course doing the exams at the same time, and both us have done well.”