Galway documentary maker a winner at New York International Radio Awards

Orla Higgins' White Noise takes silver award

Orla Higgins.

Orla Higgins.

Independent Galway documentary maker Orla Higgins has won a coveted silver award at the New York Festivals Radio Awards for her documentary, White Noise, which was broadcast as part of the RTÉ Documentary on One series.

The winners, announced at the awards gala in New York on Monday, were chosen by an international grand jury of broadcast professionals judging entries from more than 30 countries around the globe.

White Noise, originally broadcast in 2018, focused on people who suffer from tinnitus and the impact it had on their lives. It took the award in the Health/Medical category. Higgins was prompted to make the documentary when she herself was diagnosed with tinnitus almost three years ago. She collaborated with RTÉ sound designer Damian Chennells and RTÉ Producer Kevin Brew, who also suffers from the condition, to recreate the sounds of the tinnitus experience and explore the science surrounding it.

Speaking after the announcement, Higgins expressed her delight with the win: "A New York radio award is the one that all documentary makers and radio professionals want to win. This was my first radio documentary and it is such an honour to have won in New York for a story where so many people shared their very personal experiences of this traumatic condition with me."

Higgins is currently making her next radio documentary for RTÉ to be broadcast later this summer, also as part of the Documentary on One Series. White Noise can be heard at


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