Celebrations for NCTJ 'Star of the Future'

Cottingham schoolgirl, Katie Dixon, was yesterday presented with her prize for winning the NCTJ’s Stars of the Future competition.

Katie, a 16-year-old from the East Riding of Yorkshire, was presented with a certificate and cheque for £250 by NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher at the Hull Daily Mail’s offices, before being given a special tour of the newsroom.

Katie won the Hull Daily Mail’s round of the competition with an article about her school adopting a new house system. Her story then went forward to the national round where it was judged against other entries from around the UK.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: "We were thrilled with the response to the competition and to see such a high standard of writing from young people all over the country. Katie wrote a very accomplished article; particularly given she is just 16-years-old and has had no journalism training. It's great that she can now gain some work experience with the Hull Daily Mail and we look forward to following her future journalism career."

The £250 prize was courtesy of both the NCTJ and the Society of Editors and Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors also offered congratulations.

He said: “Well done Katie. The media needs high motivated talented young people to maintain the high standards of journalism that are promoted by the NCTJ. It is important that schools and their local papers identify them early and encourage them to seek the best training available.”

Katie will now complete some work experience with the Hull Daily Mail. Jamie Macaskill, assistant editor at the paper, said: “We’re delighted for Katie and very proud a local girl has picked up this national award from the NCTJ. Katie showed some real initiative putting together an interesting article about an important issue for her fellow pupils and school.

“Katie is already showing she has real potential as a journalist and we’re pleased the NCTJ is helping encourage such grassroots talent.”

The Stars of the Future competition formed part of the NCTJ’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2011, however it was such a success that the NCTJ will be seeking backing to run a more extensive competition to encourage young talent next year.

Photograph - Hull Daily Mail: Katie Dixon receives her award from NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher.