Your Noon Briefing: BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal, Jan Fairley Award, etc

BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal has been named Radio Station of the Year at the 36th Celtic Media Festival – a three-day celebration of film, television, radio and digital media from the Celtic ‘nations and regions’ – which culminated in Inverness on Friday night.

The evening saw the handing out of gala awards, the conclusion to three, day-by-day (Torc) awards, which had seen Scots entries among the winners.

Said the award organisers of BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal: “The station delivers a comprehensive speech and music service for Gaelic speakers, covering a wide range of genres.”

And Marion MacKinnon, of the BBC Gaelic Language Service, was quoted, as saying: “This award is in recognition of our community, of the people who deliver BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal and the people who listen to BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal across the world.

“It’s recognition for a team that are really dedicated and talented, and to win an award is an opportunity for us to say thank you very much to our audience and our teams.

“For us as a Gaelic language service, it’s just so important that you’re measured on the same basis as every other station, and to be in competition with nine stations and to come out winning is a great privilege.”

And among the day three winners, earlier in the day were two Scots entries: The Quest for Bannockburn and Another Country.

BBC Scotland’s The Quest for Bannockburn took the Factual series prize, while BBC Radio Scotland’s Another Country took the Radio music programme title.

The award organisers stated of The Quest for Bannockburn: “Neil Oliver and Tony Pollard set out to solve one of the biggest puzzles in battlefield archaeology.

“Seven hundred years ago, Robert the Bruce’s overwhelming victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn helped seal Scotland’s future as an independent kingdom. However, the actual location remains a mystery.

“With the help of leading battlefield archaeologists, stuntmen, computer-generated graphics and a good old-fashioned spade – Neil and Tony go in search of both the real and imagined Battle of Bannockburn.”

And series producer, Richard Downes, was quoted, as saying: “Winning a Celtic Media award means a huge amount because Quest For Bannockburn was a two-year project, so it took up an awful lot of people’s lives and time, so it’s fantastic to receive recognition for all that hard work.

“The Celtic Media Festival has a very distinctive voice – it’s not your usual broadcast and television affair – when you come to the Celtic Media Festival, there’s guaranteed to be a huge range of programmes and material on offer.”

Meanwhile, the festival organisers said of Another Country: “Ricky Ross enters the landscape of Americana and alternative country.

“Expect to hear both classic and future classics, with Ricky taking a close look at the stories behind the songs.”

And producer Richard Murdoch, from BBC Radio Scotland, was quoted, as saying: “It’s fantastic to be recognised, especially amongst so many great quality broadcasters and programmes – it’s a great thing for country music and Americana.”

Added the festival organisers, of the overall event: “[We] were inundated with a record 500 entries to the prestigious Torc Awards, and the shortlist celebrated some of the finest films, TV and radio productions and digital media to emerge from the Celtic nations and regions over the past year.

“At the gala awards ceremony, it was also revealed that the location of next year’s festival is Dungarvan in County Waterford, Ireland.

“The festival has previously been held in Wexford (1982), Gweedore (1990), Tralee (1998) and Galway (2008) in Ireland, and Newcastle, Co. Down (1986), Derry (1994), Belfast (2003), Newry (2010) in Northern Ireland.”

The other gala award winners were:

Category – winner – country – production company/broadcaster

Drama series – Love/Hate  – Ireland – RTÉ/Octagon Films Ltd

Kieran Hegarty Award for Innovation – Prosiect iBeacons Oriel Plas-Glyn-y-Weddw – Wales – Cwmni Da

Factual single – Close to Evil – Ireland – RTÉ/Praxis Pictures

Spirit of the Festival Award – Páidí ó Sé – Rí an Pharóiste – Ireland – TG4/Magamedia

The other day three award winners were:

Radio documentary – Call of the Dark – Ireland – RTÉ Radio 1

Sports programme – Documentary on One, Never Knocked Down – Ireland – RTÉ Radio 1

Radio presenter/personality – Michelle Nic Grianna – Ireland – RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

Check out all the winners from this year’s festival, here.

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A PRIZE commemorating a well-known Edinburgh-based arts journalist, who died three years ago, was recognised in Saturday’s edition of The Scotsman.

Jan Fairley was a journalist and broadcaster, writer, teacher, singer and activist probably best-known as a pioneer of the emerging World Music movement, about which she broadcast extensively, and wrote for The Scotsman, The List and many other publications.

When she died, at the age of 63, the Edinburgh branches of the National Union of Journalists, with the support of The Scotsman, decided to celebrate her memory through an award for a young or emerging Edinburgh-based journalist who would write about the arts with – say the awards organisers – “the same sense of commitment, and generous international and social perspective, that was the hallmark of Jan’s work”.

And the first winner of the Jan Fairley Award was Alan Bett, books editor of The Skinny arts and culture magazine, whose winning entry included an interview with Chinese writer, Jung Chang – published in The Scotsman’s Weekend Life.

Highly commended were Arusa Qureshi and Daisy Lafarge, while Cathleen O’Grady and Robert Bett were both commended.

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BEGINS media lawyer, Campbell Deane, on the website of the Scottish Newspaper Society: “It is a common image that has been used by newspapers for as long as I can remember. It involves a photograph of an accused or guilty person, taken in his distant or sometimes wilder days. It invariably contains other individuals in a group shot.

“The rise of social media sites has made photos like this common place. Except a recent [Independent Press Standards Organisation] decision will consign such pictures to the history book.”

Read more, here. The article is headed: ‘Why IPSO picture ruling could increase need for pixelation’.

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THE latest listing of complaints made to, and adjudicated by, the Independent Press Standards Organisation includes the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, Daily Record, Scottish Daily Mail and The Sunday Post.

And none of the complaints was upheld – as outlined here.

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BEGINS an announcement from the newspapers, comics and magazines publisher, Dundee-based DC Thomson: “DC Thomson has appointed Gareth Whelan in to the new role of editor-in-chief of Boys’ Magazines.

“As editor-in-chief of DC Thomson’s Boys’ Magazines, Gareth will drive the strategic vision of portfolio publications WWE Kids and 110% Gaming, and oversee the launch of new magazine, Thunderbirds Are Go.”

Read more, here.

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REPORTED the Daily Record (here): “Judy Murray was among more than 700 people who turned out [on Friday] to pay tribute to former Daily Record photographer, Gordon Jack [who died, aged 47, earlier this month].

“The mum of Wimbledon winner, Andy, spoke of a ‘great snapper’ and, like everyone who knew Gordon, a ‘fun’ person.

“Judy was joined by friends, family and colleagues of Gordon as well as Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, at St Michael’s Parish Church in Linlithgow.”

The funeral was reported too, in Saturday’s edition of The Scotsman.

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BEGINS an announcement from A Marr Associates, PR agency: “Travel and lifestyle PR and marketing specialists, A Marr Associates, has been appointed to handle public relations for the Slovenia Tourist Board in the UK for a second year.

“The agency will service the account from their offices in both east London and Crieff, Scotland.

“Leading the account will be creative director, Frank Marr, and account executive, Annabel Herrick.”

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BEGINS Johnston Press, in an announcement: “Johnston Press is to partner with Twitter to create a national conversation around the publisher’s What Matters To Me general election campaign.

“Drawing on Johnston Press’ reach (one in three people in the UK) and Twitter’s partners, the activity will showcase the issues at the forefront of the publics’ mind.

“For the whole day [of today], Twitter will promote the use of the hashtag #WhatMattersToMe, elevating Johnston Press’ What Matters to Me platform ( – a unique site that contains a growing collection of short videos from the public, explaining the issues at the top of their agenda – and ensuring that the people’s voice is heard.”

Read more, here.

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