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FreshAir in best-ever awards haul at SRAs

ByThurston Smalley

Nov 11, 2014

FreshAir, the University of Edinburgh’s student radio station, won gold in two categories, silver in another, and was nominated for a further award at the annual Student Radio Association (SRA) awards, held at the O2 Arena in London on Friday 7 November.

It was FreshAir’s best-ever showing at the awards by a significant margin, and is the first time the station has won gold in a decade.

Calum Macdonald won gold for Best Male Presenter, beating 600 other entrants. FreshAir News Team’s EdQT sabbatical election debate broadcast won gold for Best Outside Broadcast or Live Event, and their White Paper Publication Day referendum special won silver in the same category. FreshAir also picked up a nomination for “Best Marketing and Station Sound”.

Speaking to The Student, Emma Glicher, FreshAir Station Manager, said: “I definitely had high hopes for Calum, and the news team put so much time and effort into everything they do and produce really professional, high quality programmes.

“It’s always difficult to predict how the awards will go as we are competing with some huge stations that consistently clean up at awards ceremonies. To take home a gold and a silver award in the same category was so exciting – we literally couldn’t have done any better!”

In comments to The Student, Macdonald hailed the results, saying he was “absolutely delighted” at the station’s success.

He said: “To win in the outside broadcasting category is testament to how brilliant a news team FreshAir has. To get silver reinforces the quality of the output the team collaborates to produce. It was brilliant.

“To even be nominated in the best male category was astounding. Greg James from BBC Radio 1 always credits his win in the best male category as changing his life. At this point I’m still soaring and haven’t come back down to earth really.

“I’m hugely excited to see what will happen over the next few months and years.”

Glicher added: “We’re entirely student-funded and student-run. Most of the stations winning awards have paid managers, receive lots of money from their unions and are from universities where there are courses in radio, media, or journalism.

“I think another thing that sets us apart is the diversity of our membership. There’s a huge range of shows covering most musical tastes. Our music team also have strong links with the Scottish music scene and often champion new and up-and-coming artists.”

In remarks to The Student, Alasdair Keane, Head of News at FreshAir, said: “All the stations in the UK are amazing. My experience of FreshAir has been that we enjoy what we do and go into all our broadcasts with massive enthusiasm.

“A win like this is a great encouragement for the team and it inspires us to keep going at a high standard.”

By Thurston Smalley

Thurston is a final year French and politics student from Chertsey, England. He first wrote for his high school newspaper, The Phillipian, in 2009. He began writing for The Student in 2011, became News Editor in 2012, and Editor in Chief in 2015. He currently serves as President.

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