Shortlist announced for Refugee Festival Scotland Media Awards 2016

2015 media award winners
2015 Refugee Festival Scotland media awards winners

Stories about the warm welcome extended by Scots to refugees, the struggles and joys of recently arrived refugees from Syria across Scotland, and continuing reports of terrible asylum housing are all topics that have made the shortlist of entries for this year’s Refugee Festival Scotland Media Awards, which take place on Thursday 16 June.

The awards are more important than ever, as the world is in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II, with more than half of refugees children.

The high standard of entries to this year’s awards reflects the continued commitment of many of Scotland’s journalists to fair and accurate coverage of refugee and asylum issues.

This year a new category has been added – that of Refugee Champion. This special prize will be awarded to a journalist or media outlet that the judges feel has made an extra special contribution to the cause of refugees through a campaign, through campaigning journalism or through use of a column to promote the rights of refugees.

The Refugee Festival Scotland media awards are coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council, British Red Cross and the National Union of Journalists in Scotland.

John Wilkes, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council chief, said: “This year has seen an unprecedented number of entries for the Refugee Festival Scotland Media Awards, as journalists in Scotland tell the stories of displacement that are the sad result of conflict and persecution in many countries of the world.

“We’ve also read many tales of struggle here in Scotland, with many refugees facing challenges from housing problems to destitution. While this makes tough reading, there have also been some heart-warming tales of welcome, and connection between Scots and their new neighbours.

“Balanced and accurate reporting and storytelling is more important than ever for refugees, and has a major role in shaping a positive future for them here in Scotland. We look forward to celebrating some of this excellent work next week, once our judging panel of refugee and journalism experts have made their decisions. With so many great stories, they have a tough job to do.”

Marie Hayes, director of the British Red Cross in Scotland, said: “There has been a huge amount of media interest in the European refugee crisis and the Syrian situation over the past year and the quality of the journalism has, on the whole, been excellent.

“The Red Cross is delighted to be involved with the Refugee Festival Scotland Media Awards, which reward fair, accurate and balanced reporting of matters affecting refugees and asylum seekers. Quality journalism helps destroy the myths and misconceptions about people who flee to this country to escape conflict or persecution.”

Paul Holleran, National Organiser, NUJ Scotland, said: “It is essential to highlight the quality journalism across the Scottish media reporting on many amazing human interest stories. These awards go some way towards showing the good work being produced in the various media."

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 16 June at 7pm at Saint Luke’s, in Calton, Glasgow.

Refugee Festival Scotland media awards 2016 shortlist

Print - News

  • Lauren Crooks, Sunday Mail “No place of safety”
  • Judith Duffy, Sunday Herald “The Scots taking refugees into home and heart”
  • Karin Goodwin, Sunday Herald “Red Cross warns of humanitarian crisis as destitute refugee women forced into prostitution”
  • Marc Horne, The Times “Inquiry call over ‘callous treatment’ of refugees”

Print - Features

  • Jane Bradley, Scotland on Sunday “Scotland gave me dignity, respect and my career”
  • Annie Brown, Daily Record “We must help these poor people”
  • Dani Garavelli, Herald Magazine “The Syrian refugees building a new life in Scotland”

Print – Local

  • Rachel Loxton, Glasgow Evening Times “I know how it feels to suffer violence and I want to fight it in my own home”
  • Tanya McLaren, Forres Gazette “Moray is ready to welcome Syrians”


  • Jane Bradley, Scotland on Sunday “Refugees in Serbia seek ticket to take them far from Syria horrors”
  • Jen Stout, Common Space “Scottish police criticised for assisting ‘cruel’ UK Home Office dawn raids”
  • Iman Tajik, The Ferret “Calais: requiem for a dream”


  • Stephen Hollywood, BBC Kaye Adams Programme “Transgender asylum seeker”
  • Ailsa Macintosh, BBC Sunday Morning with Cathy Macdonald “Interview with Miriam”
  • Peter Murray, Community Channel “Feature on Syrian refugees in Edinburgh”


  • Alana Blockley, Illicit “Scotland supports the integration of Syrian refugees”
  • Jamilah A Hassan, Maze magazine “Glasgow project offers warm welcome to Syrian refugees”
  • Susan Wilson, Eyeing the News “Wissam’s story: A Syrian in Scotland”

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