The top man at one of Scotland’s most loved daily newspapers is going to be a judge this year at the highly anticipated Scottish Student Journalism Awards at the end of May.
Scottish Sun editor Alan Muir will be part of a team of judges who will be picking the winners at this year’s awards, hosted by HND Media students from Glasgow Clyde College.
The awards have been running for the last five years now and Muir, who used to work for the Ayr Advertiser when he first started out as a journalist, was full of anticipation for the prestigious event when we spoke to him.
“It always gives you real hope for the future when there are so many from the younger generation who aspire to be journalists, that’s really encouraging for someone like me who’s almost at the other end of things.
“The candidates will hopefully have the next big idea that will keep the whole industry going”.
Muir also spoke about how he first started out and got his dream job working in newspapers.
He said: “I was working at a local paper, The Ayr Advertiser. I then began selling stories that I was getting in my local area to the Sun. They eventually offered me a job doing casual shifts at first way back in 1987 and I’ve been working there ever since!”
The Sun are sponsoring and judging three categories for this year’s SSJAs, Scoop of the Year, Colum of the Year and News Story of the Year. Muir, who has presented at the awards the past two years, paints a perfect picture of what it’s like on the night and how the budding journalists feel.
He said: “I think that the passion and enthusiasm that you feel on the night is significant, it’s always nice to be in a room full of your peers and being known as ‘the crème de la crème’.
“Even if you’ve just entered the awards as a candidate, you’re getting your name known in some small way so I think the awards are very important in that sense”.
The editor also had some very useful advice for any students and non- students who are possibly considering to pursue journalism as a future career.
He said: “Remember to concentrate on your English, particularly on punctuation and grammar and write for and look for a job in your local paper, that’s the microcosm of the national scenario that you may eventually find yourself in”.
He added: “It’s got the same sort of rules that you would need to stick by and the actual going out and meeting people like face to face, creating contacts which you can only do by communicating with others”.
Remember, if you’re a student journalist, there’s still time to apply for the awards this year, if you have a story to share or a piece that you think others will appreciate then don’t hesitate to send your application to the SSJA team along with why you believe that you should be the chosen one.
This year’s awards will take place on Wednesday 30th May at St Andrew’s in the Square in Glasgow city centre.