Blair Dingwall named Scottish Student Journalist of the Year

A STORY about a father renewing a childhood friendship, after a gap of 50 years, has earned its author the title, Scottish Student Journalist of the Year.

The article – described by Daily Record and Sunday Mail editor-in-chief, Allan Rennie, as worthy of securing film rights – was produced by Blair Dingwall (pictured), who is a student at Cardonald College, in Glasgow.

It runs to around 3,000 words. As-yet-unpublished in the mainstream media, it tells the story of Blair’s father, Billy, and his childhood friend, who were both brought up in an orphanage in Speyside. The renewal of the friendship revealed how the lives of the two boys soon massively diverged, after they both left the orphanage.

The awards were attended by, among others, Richard Walker, the editor of the Sunday Herald, and Magnus Llewellin, editor of The Herald, plus, of course, Rennie. Hosting the event was BBC Scotland investigative journalist, Mark Daly, with his BBC colleague, Jackie Bird, providing the keynote speech, urging the largely student audience that “no story is worth hurting innocent people unnecessarily”.

Dingwall’s prize includes an one-week work placement at the Daily Record.

Among the judges were Douglas Alexander, chief sports writer, the Sunday Times Scotland; Kirsty Scott, journalist at The Guardian; and Campbell Gunn, former political editor of The Sunday Post.

A team of final-year BA Multimedia Journalism students at Glasgow Caledonian University took the investigative journalism award, named in honour of journalist, Calum Macdonald, who died of cancer, aged 32, five years ago.

Macdonald’s career began at the Lennox Herald, followed by the Stirling Observer. He then moved to the Evening Times, followed by the Daily Record and then The Herald. At the time of his untimely death, he had switched to studying law, while continuing his journalism less in the fearless way of previously, as a sub-editor.

The event – held last night in Glasgow – was organised by students from the HND Communication and Media course at Cardonald College Glasgow. In a media release issued by the students, Jenna Smith, one of the organisers, is quoted, as saying: “The night was an overwhelming success. My team worked extremely hard together to make this awards ceremony an achievement to be proud of.”

Pic: Phil Rider.

Winners and commended:

Student Journalist of the Year

Blair Dingwall, Cardonald College Glasgow

Student Publication of the Year

Caledonian Chronicle, Glasgow Caledonian University

Commended: The Smith Chronicle, Adam Smith College

Multimedia Publication of the Year

The Inner Circle, University of Strathclyde

Commended: Lesley Roy (La Vie En Rose), Glasgow Caledonian University

Calum Macdonald Memorial Award

Fourth-year BA Multimedia Journalism students, Glasgow Caledonian University

Arts and Entertainment Story of the Year

Jamie Brotherston, University of Strathclyde

Commended: Michael Reynolds, University of the West of Scotland

Column of the Year

Blair Dingwall, Cardonald College Glasgow

Commended: Colin Stone, Glasgow Caledonian University

Feature of the Year

Emma Crichton, Cardonald College Glasgow

Commended: James Brotherston, University of Strathclyde

News Story of the Year

Lesley Roy, Glasgow Caledonian University

Commended: Courtney Cameron, Glasgow Caledonian University

Sports Story of the Year

Gavin Harper, Edinburgh Napier University

Commended: Sean Lafferty, Glasgow Caledonian University

Scoop of the Year

Courtney Cameron, Glasgow Caledonian University