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Herald Scoops Record for Epilepsy Journalism Award

Added: 28 July 2011, 14:38

Herald Scoops Record for Epilepsy Journalism Award

Lesley Quinn's exclusive Herald feature has won Epilepsy Scotland's Journalist of the Year award for highlighting how Scotland International and Celtic player Julie Ferguson uses her condition to raise public awareness. Nearly 200 corporate guests, including Julie Ferguson, will see Ms Quinn presented with her trophy and £500 prize tonight at the charity's Edinburgh Wags fundraising event hosted by Radio Forth 1 presenter Grant Stott.

The inspiring portrayal of this young woman and her decision to demystify public ignorance was powerful and engagingly told by novice journalist Lesley Quinn. Her winning article 'The champion footballer who made beating epilepsy her goal.' won the votes of the panel.

This year's judges included novelists Lin Anderson, Des Dillon and Alexander McCall Smith, with Scottish National Union of Journalists Secretary Paul Holleran and BBC Scotland's Head of News and Current Affairs, Atholl Duncan. Runner-up Jane Gregory showcased a riveting story in the Sunday Mirror's health epilepsy special 'I woke up and didn't recognise my own husband' while another Herald writer Joan McFadden's article 'A medical brainwave' was highly commended.

Top writer Lesley Quinn remarked: "I am thrilled to be receiving this award as it means that my article has had the positive impact I hoped it would achieve. Julie is a fantastic role model and goes to show that living with epilepsy doesn't have to stop you achieving so much. I am lucky that she agreed to share her story with me and I hope that anyone reading it will be inspired by her and the determination she has."

Chief Executive Lesslie Young commented: “A growing number of journalists are highlighting epilepsy issues and informing hearts and minds through their stories. Julie has used her profile to bring public attitudes into the 21st century. The impressive standard of writing from 31 entries made the short listing hard. The good news is the more people know about epilepsy, the more likely it is its social stigma will end.”

Other short-listed Award entrants included: Matthew Barbour (Daily Mail), Samantha Booth (Daily Record), Laura Coventry (Daily Record), Paul Reoch (Dundee Courier and Advertiser) and Nan Spowart (Daily Record).