British singer Jessie J is backing a campaign encouraging children to pursue a career in journalism. The Price Tag hitmaker has teamed up with British newspaper The Sun to launch its Column Idol 2011 competition, which offers aspiring writers the chance to have their own articles published.
She tells the newspaper, "This is a fantastic chance for anyone who likes writing and has an opinion. Young people are always saying that they want to be heard. This is an opportunity for them to step up and do it."
The singer is convinced the contest, in which six finalists will be put through a writing workshop and receive tuition from staff at the paper, will provide invaluable experience to budding journalists.
She adds, "The most valuable part of Column Idol will be the mentoring process. You can learn from someone who is an expert at what they do and use that experience to find your feet. The reason I've always sung my own songs is because I could do covers all day long but writing your own music is more difficult. That's what this competition can do - allow people to become themselves, which a lot of people don't do until a lot later in life."