Commonwealth Games tale earns shortlisting in refugee media awards

A LOCAL newspaper, which exposed difficulties experienced by asylum seekers hoping to volunteer during next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, is among the nominees in an annual awards competition celebrating journalism about asylum and refugee issues.

The author of the piece, Joe McGuire of The Glaswegian, faces stiff competition from Maureen Ellis of the Evening Times in the Local Print category of the Refugee Week Scotland Media Awards 2013.

Maureen has been shortlisted for a story about two women – one a refugee, the other a Scot – who forged a deep friendship through a theatre project involving asylum seekers, refugees and Glasgow residents.

They are just two of the entries selected from what the organisers describe as “the strongest field” they have experienced so far.

Refugee Week Scotland runs from June 17 – 23.

The awards are being hosted by the British Red Cross, in conjunction with the Scottish Refugee Council and the National Union of Journalists. The winners will be announced a fortnight on Friday – June 21 – at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre.

But due to a lack of entries, the organisers were forced to drop the Broadcast category from this year’s awards.

Speaking on behalf of the organisers, Derek Masterton, media relations officer for the Red Cross in Scotland, said: “Naturally, we are disappointed but we hope that next year Scotland’s broadcasters will return in force with some potentially award-winning coverage of asylum and refugee matters.”

Meanwhile, a new category introduced this year for digital journalism attracted a large number of entries.

Masterton added: “With the rapid growth of digital journalism, we felt it appropriate to recognise the field by introducing a new category and we were delighted with the number and quality of entries.”

The shortlist reads:

National Print (News)

Kathleen Nutt, Freelance

Judith Duffy, Sunday Herald

National Print (Features)

Anna Burnside, Scotland on Sunday

Ross Reid, Holyrood Magazine

Local Print

Joe McGuire, the Glaswegian

Maureen Ellis, Evening Times


Rachael Fulton, STV (Glasgow)


Colin Mearns, Sunday Herald

Nick Ponty, Evening Times

Special Award (sponsored by NUJ Scotland)

To be announced on the night