People: Journalism’s inaugural ‘Napiers’ prove a success

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EDINBURGH Napier University’s inaugural journalism awards provided an opportunity for a bit of back-slapping last week.

Hosted by broadcaster Kirsty Wark and organised by students Andy Mackie, Jenny Kassner and Rachel Watson, the ceremony followed a recent series of talks by media professionals, called Media Mondays. The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday hacks Eddie Barnes and Aidan Smith both collected scrolls after being nominated for the Scottish Print Journalist of the Year prize, but they were pipped to the top prize by the Sunday Herald’s Iain Macwhirter, who in true Oscars fashion, could not be there to pick up his gong.

Scottish Broadcast Journalist of the Year went to BBC special correspondent Allan Little, with newsreader Cat Shearer, also of the Beeb, scooping Edinburgh Napier Alumnus of the Year. Here’s hoping the “Napiers” can become a permanent fixture.

Christmas treasure hunt

BREWIN Dolphin again chose the National Museum of Scotland as the venue for its Christmas drinks. There were no signs of austerity at the traditional Champagne reception, but one popular innovation was the Bellini – with many guests developing a taste for the peach cocktails, it soon became a treasure hunt among the museum’s curiosities for waiters bearing the right tipple.

The universe in a pie

CRUSHING an apple pie into tiny crumbs was one of the methods used to demonstrate the beginnings of the universe to members of the public at the University of Edinburgh’s Inspace laboratory last week. The performance was based around a quote from popular scientist Carl Sagan, who once said: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” Exploring the origins of life, the universe and everything is all fair and well, but is it really necessary to waste good pudding?

Johnston scoops up talent

AS TAX avoidance becomes a headline-grabbing issue, Johnston Carmichael has taken the bold step of bolstering its private client team with the appointment of three new directors, all scalped from “big four” accountancy giant PWC.

Alex Docherty has joined Johnston Carmichael’s Edinburgh office, while Billy Cleland and Nicola Horsburgh will be based in the North-east, in the firm’s Elgin office. Cleland spent 11 years in Leeds and Newcastle, providing bespoke tax advice, while Horsburgh was based in Birmingham for more than 17 years, advising high net worth individuals and their families on tax and succession matters.

Pat on the back for Martha

IT WAS a night for the PR industry to give itself a pat on the back at the annual CIPR Scotland Pride awards at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. It was claimed that the Scotland leg of the national programme was the best attended in the country. So who does Scotland’s veritable army of PR people rate as its most “Inspiring Communicator of the Year”?

Beating Alex Salmond and Sir Chris Hoy was wee Martha Payne, the schoolgirl food blogger who raised close to £125,000 to feed impoverished children around the world. Martha couldn’t be there because she was playing a role in her school panto, so her grandfather collected the award on her behalf. Awwww.