Abertay University confers Honorary Fellowship on leading Scottish journalist

One of Scotland’s leading journalists and media experts has been made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Abertay Dundee in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the institution’s growth and development over many years.

Ken Cargill, former Head of Radio and TV News and Current Affairs with BBC Scotland, has been a member of Abertay University’s Court (governing body) for more than eight years. He chaired the Court’s Governance Committee, advising on all matters relating to the good management and running of the University.

Mr Cargill, who now lives near Arbroath and is also Chair of the Patrick Allan-Fraser of Hospitalfield Trust and an advisor to the Dalhousie Centre at Brechin, was presented with the honour in a special ceremony at Abertay University by Professor Nicholas Terry, Principal and Vice-Chancellor (Acting), following an oration by Mr Nigel Hawkins, Chairman of the University Court.

In his oration, Mr Hawkins said:  “Ken is an exceptional person and he has helped the University in significant ways, fully justifying the award of Honorary Fellowship.  He has brought to his role on Court his deep belief in the importance of doing things the right way.  

“He also brought his great sense of fairness and, I think from his journalistic days, his belief in openness and transparency. His colleagues on Court could always depend on Ken for well reasoned and thought out views on a whole range of subjects.

“Ken is a master of the big picture but also a master of detail. As well as serving on the Governance Committee he was a member of the Chairman’s Committee and of the Remuneration Committee and to both he brought incisive thinking and good ideas,” Mr Hawkins added.

Ken Cargill was born in Arbroath and educated at Arbroath High School. He went to Edinburgh University where he became the founding Chairman of the Edinburgh University Student Publications Board. He was Editor of The Student, Honorary Secretary and then President of the Students Representative Council, and then Rector’s Assessor and a member of the Business Committee of the General Council.

After graduating he became a researcher in television current affairs in Glasgow in 1972 and over the following years was promoted to reporter, film director and eventually Series Producer Current Affairs.  He worked in London for a few years as a Producer of Current Affairs, before returning to Scotland in 1983 to become Editor of the Day for the flagship Reporting Scotland programme.

He moved into senior management in 1984 as Deputy Editor TV News and Current Affairs and then became Head of News and Current Affairs later adding sport to his portfolio of responsibilities. He was Head of Radio and TV News and Current Affairs between 1994 and 1999 and was then Project Executive overseeing operations for the BBC’s move to Pacific Quay.

He maintained his interest in higher education, becoming visiting Professor in Journalism Studies at the University of Strathclyde 2000 - 2005, and Honorary Professor of Politics at the University of Glasgow also 2000 - 2005. He was also a member of the Edinburgh University Alumni Media Advisory Group and Director of UK media projects between 2002 and 2007.

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