Media Release: Naysmith and De Silva named winners at Epilepsy Media Awards

STEPHEN Naysmith, Society editor on The Herald, and URTV presenter, Jo De Sylva, have each won Epilepsy Scotland’s Media Awards for their respective investigation into diagnosing epilepsy correctly and today’s barriers to work for people with epilepsy.

Both winners will be honoured tonight by National Union of Journalists’ Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, in front of more than 200 guests attending the national charity’s annual fundraising Glasgow Wags event in the Grand Central Hotel, hosted by Radio Forth One presenter, Grant Stott.

This year’s judges included Scots Makar, Liz Lochhead, authors Neil Forsyth and Michael Malone, along with Holleran.

The judging panel praised the original angle of Stephen Naysmith’s feature about the Epilepsy Centre.

Jo De Sylva’s health matters programme highlighted how finding and keeping a job may depend on employers who follow best employment practice, like Sainsbury’s in Kirkintilloch.

Picking up a trophy and £300 top prize for a newspaper feature, Stephen Naysmith commented: “Sometimes when you research a piece you find yourself surprised and intrigued by what you find out and that was definitely the case with this one.

“It is often these pieces which are of most interest to readers too.

“There was a nervousness by some of those involved about speaking to the media at all, and it’s important to build up trust by getting the stories right. I’m very glad the piece had a good reception.”

Fellow winner, Jo De Sylva, remarked: “It’s a great honour to receive this award. When camera man, Dave Dunbar, and I created this piece for the URTV network, we believed this was an important subject affecting people and communities across Scotland.

“The piece was well received by viewers of the seven broadband TV stations.

“The accolade from Epilepsy Scotland is a wonderful endorsement of hyper local journalism.”

The final listing reads:

Epilepsy Scotland Media Awards 2013


Winner: Stephen Naysmith, The Herald

Runner-up: Paula Murray, Scottish Sunday Express

Highly commended: JudithDuffy, Sunday Herald

Nominated: Tristan Stewart-Robertson, Third Force News

Nan Spowart, The Herald parenting supplement

Jane Symons, Scottish Daily Express


Winner: Jo De Silva, URTV

Runner-up: Peter McManus, BBC Radio Scotland

Nominated: Peter Coulter, Online BBC News, Belfast

Ian Hamilton, BBC Scotland

Laura Piper, STV Edinburgh Local, online magazine


Notes to editor:

* Photos and interviews: Epilepsy Scotland’s Media award winners, Stephen Naysmith and Jo De Sylva are available for interview and can be photographed in the Grand Central Hotel at 6.45pm. Contact Epilepsy Scotland for details.

* Epilepsy Scotland works with people affected by epilepsy to ensure that their voice is heard. We campaign for improved healthcare, better information provision and an end to stigma. This common serious neurological condition affects one in 97 people. We represent the estimated 54,000 Scots with epilepsy, their families and carers. Our freephone Helpline (0808 800 2200) offers support and information, or try, text 07786 209501, find us on twitter @epilepsy_scot twitter or facebook or visit:

* Previous high-profile judges for this award include broadcasters Lorraine Kelly, Cathy MacDonald, Stephen Jardine and Jackie Bird, film maker Richard Jobson, and authors Christopher Brookmyre, Gordon Ferris, Alasdair Gray, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, William McIlvanney, Denise Mina, Bill Paterson, Alexander McColl Smith and Caro Ramsay.

* This is Epilepsy Scotland’s 14th Journalist of the Year award which is endorsed by the Scottish National Union of Journalists. There were 25 entries from 20 journalists.  Previous Journalist of the Year 2012 joint award winners were Lorraine Wilson (Herald) and Sue Mott (Scottish Mail).

* The winning article (6.4.12) by Stephen Naysmith is available at: and view Jo De Sylva’s programme, Your health matters; epilepsy in the workplace (URTV Helensburgh) at:

* Tonight’s four guest speakers, all previous winners of the Glasgow Wags fundraising evening, will talk on the theme ‘Pigs may fly’ and include: professional snooker referee Hugh Brown, Westsound Radio Sport’s contributor Hugh Drennan, actress Isobel Rutter, former police chief inspector Bert Thomson. There is also a guest spot by former Rangers and Scottish Internationalist football player, Willie Henderson.

* For more details please call: Allana Parker, public affairs officer, Tel: 0141 419 1701  Mobile: 07884 012 147.

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Contact: Allana Parker
Phone: 0141 427 4911