THE Sunday Herald newspaper and its rival, Scotland on Sunday, are both among the winners at Scots awards celebrating journalism about refugee and asylum issues.
At the Tron Theatre, in Glasgow, this evening, Judith Duffy, of the Sunday Herald, took the National Print (News) award at the Refugee Week Scotland Media Awards, while Anna Burnside took the National Print (Features) prize for an article in Scotland on Sunday.
Duffy’s award was for what the judges described as “a powerful story highlighting the shocking plight of asylum seekers living destitute in Glasgow”.
Added the judges – which included allmediascotland.com: “Using a mix of case studies and statistics she offered a revealing and emotive picture of a largely unseen topic.”
Burnside’s tale was also about destitution, this time focussing on a night shelter for asylum seekers set up in a church hall by the Glasgow Destitution Network.
The awards are hosted annually by the British Red Cross in association with the Scottish Refugee Council and the National Union of Journalists.
The Local Print award went to Joe McGuire of The Glaswegian, for an exclusive report of asylum seekers encountering difficulties volunteering for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
STV Local took the newly-introduced Digital Media award, courtesy of Rachael Fulton, for her piece about an asylum seeker’s struggle to survive desperate poverty and of his sorrow at being separated from his wife and children.
The Photographic award went to Nick Ponty for an uplifting image of two women – one a Zimbabwean refugee, the other a lifelong resident of Glasgow – who met and formed a close and lasting friendship through a theatre project in the Gorbals, set up to bring refugees, asylum seekers and residents of Glasgow together. The picture appeared in the Evening Times.
The NUJ Special Award was given to freelance writer, Billy Briggs, for a body of work covering news and features over several years. The judges said his determination to put affairs covering refugees and asylum seekers in the public spotlight and the consistently high quality of his writing marked him out as a worthy recipient of the award.
Derek Masterton, media relations officer for the British Red Cross in Scotland and spokesperson for the organisers, said: “The awards continue to go from strength to strength and we were very happy to see even more entries than we had last year. We believe this indicates a growing media interest in matters affecting asylum seekers and refugees in Scotland.
“The quality of entries for all was extremely high and shows that Scotland is very well served by top-class journalists and journalism.
“The only disappointment was the lack of broadcast entries which meant we had to drop that category from the 2013 awards. We are sure, however, that Scotland’s broadcasters will be back in force next year with some powerful and potentially award-winning offerings.”
The full list of winners and runners-up reads as follows:
National Print (News)
Judith Duffy, Sunday Herald
Runner-up: Kathleen Nutt, freelance
National Print (Features)
Anna Burnside, Scotland on Sunday
Runner-up: Ross Reid, Holyrood Magazine
Joe McGuire, The Glaswegian
Runner-up: Maureen Ellis, Evening Times
Rachael Fulton, STV Local
Nick Ponty, Evening Times
Runner-up: Colin Mearns, Sunday Herald
NUJ Special Award
Billy Briggs, Freelance – pictured, receiving his award from journalist, Charles Attangana. Pic: Becky Duncan.