May 28, 2012


DCU student Conor McGinnity has been selected as winner of the 2012 Headline Award for Student Journalism Related to Mental Health and Suicide for his radio documentary “My Dad’s Depression” which was produced and aired by RTE. To listen

Conor, a Dundalk native who is an MSc student of Multimedia in DCU picked up the award for his radio documentary that featured the story of his father’s personal experience with depression and explored the impact of mental ill health on his own family life.

Judging the shortlisted entries, Carl O’Brien, Chief Reporter with the Irish Times commented that My Dad’s Depression was; “a brave, moving and revealing examination of the effect of depression on a family, a much neglected and under-reported issue.”

He further remarked; “It highlights the very many challenges of coping with mental ill-health, but also helps to de-stigmatise many perceptions and contains important information on coping strategies. Overall, this is a beautifully-crafted and textured piece of documentary-making: a tour de force.”

Headline, the national media monitoring programme for mental health and suicide created the award for student journalism to raise awareness among media students in recognition of the issues involved when reporting on mental health and suicide and to recognise the good work being produced.

Jane Arigho, Media Project Coordinator with Headline said; “The media have a huge impact onf the way we think about mental health problems.  The standard of submissions for the Headline award suggests that the next generation of journalists will  play will play  a key role in raising awareness of and de-stigmatiszing mental health problems.”

She continued;  “Dedicated and responsible coverage of suicide and mental health issues of this calibre will not only contribute to greater public understanding but also encourage those in distrss to reach out and seek the help that they need.”

Headline works closely with media professionals and students alike to promote and facilitate responsible and senstive coverage of these important issues and delivers such training as part of all of the major third level journalism, communications and media courses in Ireland.

As part of the prize for winning this pretigious award, Conor will receive a Headline Student Journalism trophy, a year long subscription to the Irish Times, one year’s membership to the NUJ and two tickets to this year’s Electric Picnic Festival which were donated by the Irish Times.