Rachael's perfect day with the NCTJ

Rachael Venables receives her NCTJ media law award from ITV's Catherine Houlihan

A graduate from the Department of Journalism Studies has been given a national award for a near-perfect exam performance – and followed up her success by grilling the editor of The Sun about page 3.

Rachael Venables received the media law award at the National Council for the Training of Journalists' (NCTJ's) student council on 6 February. The prize means an essay Rachael wrote while studying MA Broadcast Journalism in 2013-14 is deemed the best on media law by any student on an NCTJ-accredited course that year.

"I was really surprised – but thrilled – to get this award!" said Rachael. "I loved Mark Hanna's law module, as it was so different from anything I'd learned at university before."

Rachael – pictured above receiving her NCTJ media law award from ITV's Catherine Houlihan – achieved a score of 99 per cent in the media law exam.

When the council's meeting ended with a 'Meet the Editors' session, Rachael took the chance to ask Sun editor David Dinsmore about the future of his paper's most controversial feature, Hold The Front Page reports.

Dinsmore has been urged to discontinue page 3 by a petition campaign whose signatories are now approaching a quarter of a million in number. Rachael – who is currently working in East Anglia as a journalist for the Heart radio network – said she "could not leave the building" without pressing him on the issue.

"Just keep reading the paper" was the editor's ambiguous response.

Inspirational advice

The NCTJ's student council is a forum for journalism students across the UK to exchange information about their courses and network with each other and with figures from the media industry. During this main business of the day the department was represented by first-year undergraduate Nadene Chandler.

Read Nadene's blog post about the day