Refugee Week Scotland Media Awards announced

RW2013 Media Awards 1  copy
Billy Briggs was presented the NUJ's Special Award for his committment to refugee reporting.

Scotland’s two quality Sunday newspapers led the way in the Refugee Week Scotland Media Awards 2013 held at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, on Friday.

Judith Duffy of the Sunday Herald scooped the National Print (News) award with a powerful story highlighting the shocking plight of asylum seekers living destitute in Glasgow.

Using a mix of real people's stories and statistics she offered a revealing and emotive picture of a largely unseen topic.

Destitution scandal

Anna Burnside of Scotland on Sunday lifted the award in the National Print (Features) section. Her feature also dealt with the destitution scandal but focussed on a night shelter for asylum seekers set up in a church hall by the Glasgow Destitution Network.

The awards are hosted annually by Scottish Refugee Council in association with the British Red Cross and the National Union of Journalists.

The Local Print award went to Joe McGuire of The Glaswegian for his exclusive expose of the decision by Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games organisers not to allow asylum seekers to volunteer to help at the 2014 games.

Digital first

STV Local became the first to lift the Digital Media award – a category introduced this year by the organisers in recognition of the rapidly growing importance of the medium.

Rachael Fulton was the recipient for her moving 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 of the Evening Times for his uplifting image of two women – one a Zimbabwean refugee and 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 NUJ Special Award was given to freelance writer Billy Briggs for a body of work covering news and features over several years.

"Accurate and insightful reporting has an impact on people's lives." Karin Goodwin

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 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.

Top class journalist

“The quality of entries for all was extremely high and shows that Scotland is very well served by top class journalists and journalism."

Karin Goodwin, Media Officer for Scottish Refugee Council, added: "We'd like to congratulate not only the winners of this year's Refugee Week Scotland Media Awards but also all the journalists across Scotland who go above and beyond to find important stories about asylum and convince their editors of the need to persue them.

"By highlighting the issues people face when claiming asylum they help to ensure they are more visable and taken seriously by policy makers. Accuate and insightful reporting has a real impact on people's lives."

Organisers said the only disappointment was the lack of broadcast entries which meant an award was not given in that category last year.

They hope to attract more broadcasters to enter the competition next year, and are confident they wil attract more high quality coverage.

Winners in full

The full list of winners and runners-up:


Judith Duffy, Sunday Herald

Runner-up: Kathleen Nutt, freelance


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

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