International award for tutor’s radio documentary

Sam Pidoux, a learning advisor at the University of Lincoln and reader’s editor for The Linc, has won two international awards for her documentary “Love Letters from Home”. Siren won the Radio Television Digital News Association’s Edward R Murrow awards, in the categories of News Documentary and Feature Reporting.

Sam Pidoux has won two awards for her documentary aired on Siren FM over Christmas. Photo: Samantha Fisher/The Linc

The documentary, which follows the time when  Sam Pidoux’s father was serving in Afghanistan, was played out on Siren FM over the Christmas holidays.

The original idea came from Miss Pidoux deciding to use her degree and passion for radio to keep in touch with her father: “The documentary literally came from a chance conversation with Barnie Choudhury and I said ‘my dad is going to Afghanistan, I am going to make the use of my skills. I am going to send him a podcast every week.’… And he said ‘There is something that could be made from that… Have you ever thought about getting your Dad to keep some diaries?’”

From that point on Mr Choudhury guided Sam Pidoux by encouraging both her and her father to keep audio records of the period of time that he spent in Afghanistan. Miss Pidoux was keen to have a story that was positive about the war in Afghanistan: “The military community I am part of and I feel very passionate about. At the moment all the stories that you hear are quite sad news stories I thought is there anything in making good news.”

Although Sam Pidoux had put in a lot of effort into her award-winning documentary she had not expected so much recognition for it: “I put it to the back of my mind because I think if you get too excited, when you get let down, for me personally… I do get that horrible gut feeling. But I would have picked myself up but I didn’t expect it all.”

Miss Pidoux’s first reaction to hearing the news was to “laugh then immediately [she] cried and was shaking really badly.”

The first person she called once she had been informed of her wins was her father, who she recognises was the reason why she had such a great story: “I thought my Dad should be the first one to know… If it wasn’t for my Dad then I wouldn’t have a story, so I owe everything to him. I have said to him that one of the awards at least I want to dedicate to him and the armed services.”

She is also very grateful towards the armed forces as she is proud of being a part of a military family: “I just wanted to show a story for what it is like for families back here in the UK while you are watching the news hearing all those sad things that are coming out of Afghanistan, and not being able to keep in touch with your loved ones.”

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