NCTJ student wins Column Idol competition

Rebecca Stubbs, a journalism student at the University of Sunderland, has been published in Britain’s biggest newspaper after winning a national writing competition.

The 21-year-old, who is studying an NCTJ-accredited BA in news journalism, beat four other finalists to have her column about bringing back girl power published in The Sun as part of the paper’s Column Idol competition.

Following three months of mentoring from Sun Women journalist Jennifer Tippett, who gave her tips on writing style, how to develop her column and how to make it in the media industry, she was tasked with pitching her column idea to a judging panel including The Sun’s editor David Dinsmore and TV broadcaster and award-winning columnist Lorraine Kelly.

Rebecca said: “I’m a proud feminist and wanted to voice my views on the much talked about topic, football. Everyone from politicians to TV presenters are putting their two pennies worth in. I think it’s about time young women had a voice too.

“I want people to read my column and either agree or disagree. The worst thing would be if they didn’t care either way.”

The competition provides six young people, aged 16-25, with the chance to be mentored by top journalists through Media Trust’s youth mentoring scheme and have their column printed in The Sun.

Rebecca was selected as a finalist from nearly 500 entries.

Chris Rushton, Head of Journalism & Public Relations at the University of Sunderland, said: "We're delighted for Rebecca, whose personality and writing skills obviously shone through. She has beaten off hundreds of rivals to win this coveted title.

"We are so proud and pleased that millions of The Sun readers saw the result of Rebecca's hard work during two years studying journalism at Sunderland. She is a credit not only to herself, but also to the teaching staff here."

Congratulations to Rebecca on this great achievement.