Letter from the i editor: Know where you stand


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The Independent Online

A few of you have written in to i asking why our competition to find new student columnists is only open to, er, students. I’d have thought that there was a clue in the title.

But for the avoidance of doubt, we are looking for fresh young talent from students — in part because we hear the voices of older generations constantly, in part because we believe it’s a lot harder being a student today than it has been in decades, and partly because we believe young people need a bit of a break right now.

But yes, young Tom Scudamore, the self-confessed political nerd who wrote in wondering if 14 years old really was too young, I am afraid it really is. We don’t want a public meltdown à la Luke Lucas (off The X Factor) situation when people are cruel about your abilities — and they would be.

If you doubt that, go to Your View (p14), which we could have once again filled with complaints about our esteemed sports writer of the year, James Lawton. This time Jim’s “crime” was not that of being a fan of the six different football teams readers suspect him of cheering for; this time dissension comes from rugby fans.

Jim has been unequivocal in his criticism of the England players’ behaviour at the World Cup. He has been outspoken in calling for Mike Tindall to be sent home. Yesterday he was annoyed with Mark Cueto’s defence of the team’s behaviour. Many of you believe he is barking up the wrong tree. That’s your prerogative. At least you know where Jim stands.

For all you aspiring columnists, this is a crucial piece of advice: know what your opinion is before you write your column. And, if you still want to try, then go to independent.co.uk/i for details.