Mar 122014

John-RitchieWe were saddened to learn of the recent death of Scottish community radio pioneer John Ritchie, one of the founders of Midlothian based community radio Black Diamond.

John had spent most of his adult life in broadcasting having worked for Reuters as a cameraman and then as a documentary producer and author.

In a tribute on the Black Diamond website, the board of MCMA said Mr Ritchie would be greatly missed.

As a journalist, editor and author, he brought a wide range of contacts and considerable experience into the development of one of the first stations in the UK to receive a community radio licence.

John brought his missionary zeal in support of community radio, not only to Midlothian but further afield in his work with others to establish a credible Scottish Community Broadcasting Network (SCBN).

At times John ruffled feathers when officialdom seemed to obstruct our plans but he will be remembered as providing strong leadership in ensuring that Black Diamond FM has not only survived but prospered into a station that provides not only entertainment and information but has helped improve community cohesion.

The continuation of the station will be one of his many legacies and a tribute to his work over the last ten years. Our thoughts are with his wife Catriona and daughter Hynde.

Radio Saltire Chairman Andrew Morris said today:

I met John at a meeting of Scottish community radio stations at Holyrood a couple of years ago. We had a long chat during which he was very supportive of what we were doing and offered his help to us.

He was an inspiration to many in this industry and I am sure that the progress that local community radio has made in recent years is due in no small part to his enthusiasm and commitment. He will certainly be missed and our thoughts at this time are with his family, friends and colleagues at Black Diamond