IN huge numbers, Scots have tuned into their local radio or TV stations for updates on the wintry weather and few reporters will have gained more plaudits from listeners and viewers this week than Borders-based Cameron Buttle and Angela Soave.
In the case of Buttle, because he couldn’t fight his way through the blizzards to the BBC offices in Selkirk, from his home near Melrose, he filed instead from home – courtesy of satellite technology.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Soave required a police escort to gain safe passage along blocked roads to Selkirk, to then single-handedly report for a full hour, on radio, on how the weather was affecting the region.
Buttle set up his radio sat phone in his back garden and provided live reports for Radio Scotland, Five Live and the BBC News Channel. Then he picked up his own video camera and filmed himself wading through the snow as he told the outside world of the two foot of snow which had fallen in his village. These video updates ran on Reporting Scotland and on the BBC News Channel.
The pair’s efforts were recognised by BBC Scotland’s head of news and current affairs. He said: “We’ve had many heroes out there in the snow this week covering this story but Cameron and Angela stand out as people who delivered great journalism with great determination in the most appalling of conditions. I take my hat off to them and all the rest of the BBC news teams who braved the cold.”
Said Buttle:”I must have been on 20 different bits of output across the day. You just have to get your head down and get on with the job. The new technology is amazing in situations like this, allowing you to turn your own back garden into a TV and radio broadcasting centre.”