Catriona is a reporter and columnist for the Herald and Times newspaper group. She is currently Chief Reporter and columnist for the Glasgow Times and writes a twice-weekly column for The Herald. She specialises in education, is the Glasgow Times’s court reporter, covers the crime beat and is a community reporter. Catriona is also a freelance broadcaster, regularly heard on BBC Scotland, Times Radio and LBC, and appears on television news and current affairs programmes. She has been shortlisted many times for Regional and National Press Awards, winning four commendations. Catriona has an MLitt from the University of Glasgow and an MPhil from the University of Strathclyde. She is also a project supervisor at the University of Glasgow, overseeing students reading for the Masters in Media, Communications and International Journalism. Catriona has a passion for travel, having ticked off six of the seven continents, and has lived and worked in Australia. Outside journalism Catriona enjoys cycling, running, reading, plays the clarinet and is learning British Sign Language. She has been a children’s panel member for nine years. Catriona’s lifelong passion is dance and she takes ballet classes with Scottish Ballet. Her proudest moment was dancing in the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Before you ask, no, she was not a teacake.
In Catriona’s time at The Herald and Glasgow Times she has been privileged to develop a global perspective through work in places as diverse as Sierra Leone, the Myanmar-Thailand border, Serbia, the Cayman Islands and Mauritius. Overseas Catriona witnessed how Sierra Leone is trying to improve maternal health and the conditions of the refugee camps on the Myanmar–Thailand border. But the stories Catriona values most are those happening in the streets around her home. Shining a light on Scotland-wide and Glasgow-wide political and social issues is vital and Catriona believes the work of community reporting is often overlooked and undervalued. As local newspapers are gobbled up by large organisations that then close offices in the areas they serve, having a journalist based in the community they write about is becoming increasingly rare. For the past 13 years, Catriona has covered the south side of Glasgow for the Glasgow Times, an area that includes Govanhill – Scotland’s most multicultural, most diverse, most loved and most loathed community. To her colleagues’ collective horror, 10 years ago Catriona moved there! The newspaper industry now also faces the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic and will have to adapt further, in an era of already rapid change, to survive and thrive. In the last year work life has essentially shrunk from the possibility of international travel to Sierra Leone to Catriona’s sitting room. After a year of working from home conducting Zoom interviews and a lack of in-person contact, how do we rebuild relationships with communities? How can we serve our readership remotely in the new world of social distancing? And how do we encourage people to continue to value local news?