AddThis SmartLayers

Blogging contest spawns 13-year-old columnist

A regional daily has appointed two new columnists, one of whom is only 13-years-old, after running a Big Brother-style competition which put eight bloggers up against each other.

The North West Evening Mail launched its ‘Big Blogger’ contest in November to find a new columnist for the paper, taking the popular Channel 4 show as its inspiration.

Each week, the writer whose blog attracted the fewest unique users was booted out of the competition, resulting in Aidan Silcocks winning and now writing a weekly column called Silcock’s World.

And the paper was so impressed with 13-year-old blogger Alice Egerton, who was one of the finalists, they decided to recruit her for a column giving a younger perspective on matters, called Alice’s Wonderland.

Deputy editor James Higgins said: “Throughout Big Blogger we continued to be impressed by the high quality of blogs by our entrants, not to mention the volume of traffic they attracted to our website – literally thousands of people a week as the contest reached its peak.

“The idea was to seek out untapped talent among our readers and I’m confident we have done this with Aidan and Alice, two completely different people with refreshingly alternative views on the world.”

During the contest, finalists used social media to promote their blogs and excerpts from them were published in the Evening Mail each week.


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • January 31, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I would expect that they wouldn’t be paid, but I also wouldn’t see what’s wrong with that. Lots of papers get columns in from various sources without money changing hand – MPs, police, special interest groups. If someone wants to get their writing published at a young age and a local paper provides column space, surely that’s a good thing? This will only look good on their CV, while the paper can reach out to a younger demographic.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(0)