A promising young journalist has become the second person to be awarded a prize set up in honour of a former deputy editor of The Journal.
Ruth Edmundson has won The Journal/Kevin Overbury Award for best magazine journalism student at Sunderland University, where Mr Overbury used to teach.
Mr Overbury died in 2012 after a long illness. He was deputy editor from 1997 to 2002 and was a key member of the team that redesigned the paper when it moved from broadsheet to tabloid.
Ruth, from Sunderland, won the award for the high quality and consistency of her work throughout her time at the university. She was given the highest mark on the magazine course and got special recognition as she graduated at the Stadium of Light this week.
The 21-year-old gained particular praise from academics for her final project magazine, Japtannia, a female Japanese pop culture publication covering Japanese fashion, anime, manga and cosplay.
She said: “I was really shocked to hear I’d won the award. I’ve worked so hard while studying at university, but I know so many others who have too. It felt incredibly special to be given the award and made all the hard work that has gone in while I studied in Sunderland so worthwhile.
“I love working in magazines and journalism, it interests me on a daily basis and nothing is ever the same. You’ve got to work for it.
“I’ve really enjoyed being at Sunderland, all the lecturers have been approachable and always willing to help you and give the support necessary. I’ve developed so much as a person and in terms of my work. I’m now aiming to develop my contacts and hopefully land my dream job and write every day about something I love.”
Jenny McKay, who runs the magazine journalism degree at Sunderland, said: “Ruth has been a wonderful student to work with – highly conscientious, focused and determined to develop a career in journalism. She is super organised at all times, questioning, curious and intent on producing the best work possible.
“Her final magazine was absolutely astounding and of high quality. She has a varied set of interests and a willingness to try her hand at different tasks. She always had questions, and she always took feedback and developed through it. And she was challenging, always making us deliver the best teaching.”
Kevin’s widow Karen, who is editor of The Journal Homemaker, said: “It’s great to see that Kevin’s legacy is still making a difference. I’d like to congratulate Ruth and wish her all the best for what promises to be a fantastic career.”