The ABC is overhauling its prestigious cadet journalism program for 2014 so that only existing employees or those who applied for reporting gigs earlier this year are eligible. The news will come as a blow to hundreds of aspiring gumshoes around the country who see scoring a cadetship as their best shot at becoming the next Leigh Sales or Tony Jones.

ABC cadetships are usually advertised externally and are open to applications from anyone with an undergraduate degree and media experience. Over 1000 people applied last year for only seven positions. Successful candidates have traditionally had to complete the journalistic equivalent of a heptathlon by passing a written application, current affairs quiz, news-writing test, voice and camera test and finally an interview.