BBC Radio Scotland
The majority of my radio work is currently commissioned by BBC Radio Scotland. Over the last five years I’ve become a trusted reporter for the BBC Culture Café, Movie Café, Book Café and Comedy Café programs, producing sound rich features, recording interviews and audio slideshows, covering stories from the Edinburgh Festival, and ranging from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland to Spain and South America. I’ve now produced over 100 sound rich radio packages for BBC Scotland .
I’ve also taken an innovative approach to audio-slide shows at the station. I began producing them for my radio portfolio in 2006, but in 2008 I partnered with a professional photographer to produce a series of atmospheric slideshows for the 2008 Edinburgh Festival. Since then, I have honed my own photography skills, and now I am able to record, shoot and mix the images and sounds skillfully – as with this example on the BBC Radio Scotland website. It is an art form quite unlike either radio or video, and one which I am keen to explore in a full-length feature.
Living on Earth
I am particularly proud of the two features I have produced for Living on Earth, PRIs sound rich environmental program, based in Massachusetts.
The first focused on the culture and conflict on the remote Isle of Lewis in the Scottish Western Isles, where the promise of abundant wind energy threatened an older form of fuel, and a cultural institution – peat cutting. Link to the piece on the LOE website.
The second was a major exploration of the potential benefits and environmental risks of plans to build a massive tidal barrage across one of the most remarkable rivers in Europe – The Severn. Close to where I grew up, the rhythms of this remarkable river with its massive tidal bore had long made an impression on me, and this was an opportunity to explore its culture, and to examine the scientific and engineering debates about its energy producing potential.
My work for American radio has allowed me to report on stories from all over the world. In 2004 I covered anti-war protests in Washington and the US Presidential Election. In 2005 I reported on the election campaign of Reg Keys, who stood against Tony Blair, and the G8 protests in Scotland.
In 2008 I produced my first feature length program for FSRN, about the issues surrounding Scottish Independence, a program in which I interviewed first minister Alex Salmond.
My most recent piece for FSRN was coverage of a national conference of people from “Occupy” camps from across the UK, who met in Edinburgh to try to resolve issues of safety and security for the activists.
Community and Prison Radio
I started my radio career working at a community radio station in Washington DC, WPFW – and the experience has stayed with me ever since, informing both the stories I choose to pursue, and the creative angles I take with them. This African-American radio station in the US capital was an inspiring place to start in radio. I reported on the 2004 Presidential elections, gun crime in the Capital, and slam poetry events.
Returning to Scotland, I worked as a presenter and radio trainer for a year at Leith FM, covering all sorts of topics; homelessness, urban regeneration, and domestic violence. I trained a community news team, and took a lead in our outreach work amongst ethnic minority groups and unemployed people in Leith.
Later I worked in Prison Radio in London, with an NGO called Media for Development. The Station, Radio Wanno is a station run by prisoners in HMP Wandsworth. I spent three months training prisoners in radio production, and writing a special feature for Glasgow’s Variant Magazine.