That Was the Year That Was: Ruth Connelly, head of broadcasting, Scottish Parliament

GOOD year, bad year? With 2014 drawing to a close, we ask Ruth Connelly OBE, head of broadcasting at the Scottish Parliament: ‘How has it been for you?’.

Briefly, what is it that you do?

As head of the Parliament’s Broadcasting Office, I’m responsible for the video output of all Chamber and committee business; our webcasting service and the regular production of a range of films about the Parliament and its work.

To do this, I have a team of 13 great people. As head, I’m also responsible for our office budget, line management and contributing to some corporate policies.

Choose three words that sum up 2014 (so far), from a professional point of view.

Highlights. Historic. Hectic.

In 2013, what was your biggest ambition for 2014, and to what extent did you achieve it?

To ensure that the world’s broadcast media took home a good impression of their experience at the Scottish Parliament – while they were based here in September [for the referendum on Scots independence]. We accredited over 800 broadcast media for Referendum week and pictures of the Parliament were seen all around the world. Feedback from everyone was extremely positive.

How has 2014 (so far) been for you, personally?

It has been a significant year for me, personally. I became a grandmother, I turned 60 (completely painless!) and was awarded an OBE.

Any changes this year in technology, legislation, the economy, etc that have had a relatively significant impact on the business?

We installed HD cameras in the Chamber, new committee room sound systems and new edit suites and, in the process, have tried to streamline our business processes.

What looking forward to, in 2015 – personally and professionally?

Watching my granddaughter Jessica-Lily grow. Perhaps a quieter year, professionally, than this year, although I’ve said that every year for the past 15 years!

I have two new members of staff, so I looking forward to working with them and all my team.

I’m always looking for ways to use video to get people interested in the Parliament and its business.

So much good work goes on in Parliament which can sometimes go unnoticed.

A video about the work of a committee or the PO’s programme of Parliament Away Days, for example, can be used by local media as well as the usual media outlets and helps spread the word.