It’s a battle that stands comparison with David against Goliath. Oh, and toss in a hint of Braveheart.
An online-only radio programme which celebrates the Scots language and culture and is presented in Scots has been nominated for a top international award at the Celtic Media Festival, alongside some of the world’s biggest radio stations.
Scots Radio is produced by well-known broadcaster Frieda Morrison and features Scots “fae Shetland tae the Borders and athin in atween”. The monthly programme launched on the internet three years ago and attracts thousands of listeners throughout the world with its special blend of information, interviews and music.
The internet programme has been nominated in the magazine category and is competing for the festival’s Torc Award for Excellence (below) against Scotland’s BBC Radio nan Gaidheal and Northern Ireland’s BBC Radio Ulster, as well as Ireland’s RTE Raidió na Gaeltachta and BBC Wales.
Frieda, who hails from Deeside, sees the nomination, which follows a similar acknowledgment last year, as another important step in the promotion of the Scots Language. “It gees us great pleasure tae announce that Scots Radio has been nominated for this prestigious award in the Celtic Media Festival. We have been judged by a Scottish jury and an international jury – noo through to the finals. On behalf o’ the Scots Radio team, thank-you tae oor listeners and contributors for their support.”
Scots Radio is supported by Creative Scotland. Kenneth Fowler, director of communications at Creative Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Scots Radio has been nominated in the Celtic Media awards. As we state in our Scots language policy, ‘we tak tent that the Scots language is an innermaist pairt o Scotlan’s identitie an culture’ and we will ‘forder oor wurk tae heize up an develop Scots language’.
“Our funding support for Scots Radio forms an important part of that work and it’s great that their role in championing Scots, raising awareness of the language, while entertaining and informing at the same time, is being recognised in this way.”
Donald Smith, director of Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland, added: “This is exactly what Scots has been needing – it’s a blast of fresh air at the right time, and if sustained it will influence the whole media sector in Scotland.”
Author and poet James Robertson said: “‘Scots Radio remains the only place in the media where Scots can be heard regularly, in all its dialect and regional varieties, featuring urban and rural speakers discussing a whole range of subjects across daily life, work, recreation, history, nature and culture.
“Crucially, while the Scots language is celebrated and enjoyed, it is seldom the main topic under discussion: in other words the language is used in the way it is used the length and breadth of the country, to address and explore all aspects of life.
“Frieda Morrison and her colleagues give the lie to the notion that Scots in the media is only fit for fitba and comedy – although that is not to say that there isn’t plenty of humour in the programmes. Scots Radio continues to be an oral-aural celebration of the Scots tongue and as such is both a delight and a necessity – a rare example of the Scots language being given its rightful place in our media.”
Scots Radio, which is also supported and promoted by the Scots Language Centre, is recorded in Edinburgh at B&B studios by Richard Werner, who has become part of the programme. Frieda is joined in the studio throughout the year by well-known folklorist and musician Steve Byrne.
The winner will be revealed at the 38th Celtic Media Festival which takes place over May 3-5 in Douglas, Isle of Man.
More information about Scots Radio, and the programmes themselves, can be found here