Glasgow Clyde College graduate’s refugee tale up for UK journalism award

A journalism graduate of Glasgow Clyde College is in the running for a UK-wide award in recognition of an in-depth feature she wrote about a refugee from Kurdistan now living in Knightswood.

Cat Cochrane, who, since graduating in summer, worked at a Glasgow-based design agency and is now working on publishing a book, saw her feature on Roza Salih – researched and written while Cat was enrolled at Glasgow Clyde College – published in a national newspaper. The article subsequently caught the eye of judges of the National Council for the Training of Journalists awards, the winners of which will be announced tomorrow (Friday 27 November).

She said: “I was delighted to be shortlisted by the NCTJ in the Best Feature category as the article I’d written was about a very special young lady, Roza Salih, who arrived with her family in Glasgow from Kurdistan in 2002 with practically nothing, following a lengthy immigration process. Since then, she has worked hard to highlight the plight of refugees in Scotland and the UK and towards gaining a law degree and in her role as Vice President for Diversity and Equality at Strathclyde University. Roza’s journey really moved me and it was a pleasure to write about it and share it with a wider audience.”

Cat, a former Duncanrig Secondary School pupil from East Kilbride who now lives in Mount Florida, is the only college student among the 18 nominees for six awards. The other candidates are university students or enrolled at a specialist journalism school. In the student feature of the year category, Cat is up against Robbie Gordon and Yvette Tan, both of the University of Sheffield.

“This is my second NCTJ nomination,” she explained, “as last year I was delighted to win Best Multimedia Campaign while representing my project Dearest Scotland and Glasgow Clyde College. I’m really looking forward to meeting fellow journalists at the ceremony who have many stories to tell at this crucial start of their careers.”

Since graduating from Glasgow Clyde College in June, Cat continued working on Dearest Scotland at Glasgow-based design agency Snook, where she published a book of letters written to the future of Scotland.

She says: “In early October, we hosted our successful book launch and a letters exhibition in the Scottish Parliament Building. I have since left Snook and my next project centres around 100 Glasgow Hairdressing and Barbers Tales, which I’ve started, and on receiving funding I aim to publish a book of the same title in 2016.”