DCU Masters Graduate from Dundalk wins health prize for radio documentary

Dundalk native Conor McGinnity has won a health literacy award for his radio documentary project entitled ‘My Dad’s Depression’

Dundalk native Conor McGinnity has won a health literacy award for his radio documentary project entitled ‘My Dad’s Depression’

Conor, who has just finished a Masters in Multimedia in Dublin City University (DCU), was amongst the winners at the recent Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards.

At a ceremony in Dublin, Conor and a team from RTE Radio 1 won first place in the category, ‘Best Health Communication Through Journalism’.

Fourteen other organisations were also recognised for their efforts to communicate more clearly and for making information more accessible to the public, with five entries taking home specially commissioned trophies.

RTE Radio 1, led by series producer Liam O’Brien and production supervisor Nicola Greer, put together a documentary on Conor McGinnity’s personal story on how his father’s depression has affected the whole family.

The aim of the documentary is to give an insight into families who live with depression, but are not sufferers themselves. To that end they did not include any ‘expert’ opinion - rather they heard directly from the family at the centre of this issue.

The documentary received an enormous response. On the weekend it was broadcast, it reached approximately 240,000 listeners. RTE Radio 1 was inundated with emails for a number of weeks after the documentary aired.

It got sizeable online traffic (c.30,000 podcasts/web page visits). It was also picked up by Liveline the following Monday and became the kernel of that day’s programming. Conor’s family, including his father, were taken aback by the response they personally received - and still do to this day.

The initiatives recognised at the awards ceremony were selected from nearly 150 entries which had to demonstrate how they addressed the issue of health literacy, which is a person’s ability to understand and use basic health information, whether they receive it in writing, in person or over the phone.

Pictured from left is Ms Inez Bailey, Director of the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA); Mr Ciaran Cassidy, RTE Radio One; Mr Conor McGinnity, RTE Radio One; and Dr Neil Boyle, Managing Director MSD celebrating their win at the recent Crystal Clear MSD Health Literacy Awards where five different organisations were recognised for their efforts to communicate more clearly with the public.