Launch of Nicola Barry Award
I knew and worked with the late Nicola Barry, an award-winning feature writer and columnist, many times throughout my career. We were colleagues on a couple of newspapers and I believe I commissioned her to write for me when I was at The Herald.
It was very sad to hear of her sudden death earlier this year aged just 66 but I was delighted last night to be at a Women in Journalism event at which her husband, Alistair Murray, announced the launch of a new Nicola Barry Award.
The award, which will be part of the Scottish Press Awards, aims to encourage the kind of brilliant reporting and campaigning journalism that Nicola was acclaimed for.
The winner will receive a trophy at the Scottish Press Awards dinner next spring. A WiJ Scotland member will be part of the judging panel.
Nicola was one of Scotland’s most successful and best known journalists and authors. She was passionate about helping the underdog.
Launching the award, Alastair said: “One editor told me that my wife was the greatest feature writer of her generation and I don’t think that anyone in Scottish journalism would disagree with that.”
John McLellan, director of the Scottish Newspaper Society, is reported as saying: “Nicola was a very special talent and her particular empathy for the dispossessed, vulnerable and excluded came out in everything she wrote.
“The SNS is delighted to be working with Women in Journalism to encourage new female writers and to keep Nicola’s memory alive.”
I chatted to Alastair, who I also worked with while I was at the Daily record, before and after his announcement of the award. He mentioned something about a “westie” feating somewhere on the trophy. Nicola’s dog, who is now in Alastair’s full-time care is a much-loved West Highland terrier!
Women in Journalism is Scotland’s new organisation for women in media. The Women in Journalism Scotland’s End-of-Summer Party took place at EY on George Square, Glasgow, last night.