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David Mac Dougall

Helsinki, Finland
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About David
David Mac Dougall is a journalist based between Finland and Scotland with extensive experience as a producer and correspondent for broadcast, and as a news and features writer.
English Spanish Finnish
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
Fact Checking

Digitisation project reconnects Russia with its Arctic voices

05 Apr 2023  |  euronews
The article discusses a digitisation project aimed at preserving thousands of tape recordings from Russia's Arctic north, dating back to as early as 1890. These recordings, which include voices, stories, songs, and folklore, were collected by Soviet ethnographers and are currently stored at St. Petersburg’s Pushkin House. The University of Aberdeen, led by Professor David Anderson, has secured funding to digitize these recordings, which are at risk of disintegration due to age. The project involves using specialist equipment to convert the tapes into digital formats while removing background distortions. The recordings are significant for the descendants of the original speakers and for the cultural history of the communities that were affected by Soviet-era resettlement policies. The article highlights the importance of continually updating digital archives to ensure long-term preservation.

Scotland's Diplomatic Efforts and Independence Ambitions

01 Apr 2023  |  euronews
The article by David Mac Dougall discusses the Scottish National Party's (SNP) diplomatic efforts and plans for a new independence referendum in 2023. Nicola Sturgeon's SNP has seen an increase in diplomatic outreach, engaging with foreign diplomats and leaders, particularly during the COP26 summit. Angus Robertson, Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs, emphasizes Scotland's readiness for business and recovery from COVID-19. Despite a lack of overwhelming public support for independence, the SNP is preparing for the referendum and aims to convince undecided voters. The Scottish government is also expanding its international presence with upgraded Scotland House offices in Copenhagen and a new mission in Warsaw. European perceptions of Scotland have shifted post-Brexit, with EU leaders quietly acknowledging Scotland's pro-EU stance. The article also touches on Scotland's broader approach to international affairs, including relations with the US, China, Canada, India, and Pakistan, and its role in the Arctic policy.

Poland and Lithuania say Belarus is intentionally sending migrants their way. Now there are fears Russia could do the same to Finland.

15 Mar 2023  |  euronews
The article discusses the political situation in Finland where the government faces a no-confidence vote over security concerns at the border with Russia. Opposition parties, led by Kokoomus, accuse Prime Minister Sanna Marin's coalition of not securing the border against potential 'hybrid tactics' by Russia, such as using migrants as a political tool. The article references past events in 2016 when Russia allegedly facilitated migrants to claim asylum in Finland as a form of hybrid attack. The opposition is calling for legislation to temporarily close borders, even to asylum seekers, and possibly building a border fence, though this is seen as impractical by some officials. The Finnish government and previous administrations have been criticized for not being prepared for such hybrid threats, despite hosting the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in Helsinki.

Rovaniemi and the COVID-19 impact on tourism

15 Mar 2023  |  euronews
The article by David Mac Dougall discusses the impact of COVID-19 on tourism in Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland. Due to travel restrictions, tourist numbers from outside Finland plummeted by 98% last year, severely affecting the local economy. With Europe experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections, there is concern for the upcoming winter season. However, there is also cautious optimism, with projections suggesting a recovery to 70% of pre-pandemic tourism levels this year and a full recovery by 2023. Local businesses like Lapland Safaris are hopeful, seeing bookings from the UK and other European countries. Domestic tourism in Finland has increased, and new international flight connections are expected to boost growth. Santa Claus Village and SantaPark have adapted to the pandemic, with Santa Claus behind plexiglass and social distancing measures in place for visitors.

Slow TV Captivates Nordic Audiences With Simple Joys Like Puppy Births

15 Mar 2023  |  euronews
The article by David Mac Dougall discusses the popularity of 'slow TV' in the Nordic countries, with a focus on a Finnish public broadcaster Yle's latest hit show 'Puppy Live'. This show streams the life of newborn labrador puppies 24/7, allowing viewers to watch them from birth until they find new homes. The show has garnered over 5.5 million views in just two weeks. The concept of slow TV, which originated in Norway with broadcaster NRK, involves long-form, unedited broadcasts of everyday events. The article also touches on the appeal of slow TV, mentioning its ability to create a sense of community and the potential for unexpected events to occur. The success of such programs in Norway and Sweden is also mentioned, highlighting the public's interest in natural and simple events as a form of entertainment.

Icelandic festive traditions centre around the mischievous Yule Lads and their truly terrifying troll witch mother.

19 Dec 2022  |  euronews
The article by David Mac Dougall explores the unique Christmas traditions of Iceland, which revolve around the Yule Lads and their mother, the troll witch Grýla. Unlike the Santa Claus tradition, Icelandic children receive gifts from the Yule Lads starting December 11th. These characters, including Spoon Licker, Pot Licker, and Bowl Licker, have evolved from sinister figures to mischievous gift-givers. Folklorist Dagrún Ósk Jónsdóttir from the University of Iceland explains how these traditions are deeply cherished and have adapted over time, with the Yule Lads becoming less frightening and more generous. The article also touches on how Christmas traditions across Europe have changed, with a nod to Victorian influences. It concludes with a modern twist on the tradition, where Grýla's cat, which used to eat those without new clothes, now accepts used clothing to reflect environmental concerns.

Greenlanders in Denmark to get news in their own language with new radio station

01 Jan 2022  |  euronews
The article by David Mac Dougall discusses the initiative to create a new radio station funded by the Danish government to deliver content in Greenlandic for the Greenlandic community living in Denmark. The service aims to provide relevant local news and information, considering the four-hour time difference and language barriers that make current broadcasts from Greenland's public broadcaster less accessible. Spearheaded by Greenlandic politician Aki-Matilda Høegh Damm, the project's format is yet to be decided. The article also touches on the socio-economic challenges faced by Greenlanders in Denmark, including stereotypes and a lack of education among Danes about Greenlandic culture. Camilla Siezing, President of Fællesforeningen Inuit, highlights the importance of the new service for the community, especially during the pandemic.

How do you celebrate Christmas in the most remote outpost on Earth?

25 Dec 2021  |  euronews
The article by David Mac Dougall discusses how Christmas is celebrated at Halley Station, a British Antarctic Survey research base in Antarctica. Millie Bond, a PhD researcher, describes the unique challenges of celebrating the holiday in such a remote location, where logistics play a crucial role due to the absence of nearby supermarkets and the predominance of penguins. The station, which operates during the short summer season, relies on cargo flights for supplies, as ships rarely reach the base. The 33-strong team at Halley may adjust their Christmas day celebration based on the weather conditions, which can affect their ability to work outside. Despite the lack of fresh ingredients, the crew expects to enjoy a traditional British Christmas meal prepared by their skilled chefs, using stored and frozen food. Millie also brought some small personal festive items to decorate her room at the base.

The Great Escape: There's An App For That

31 Aug 2015  |  Forbes
A Finnish startup named Arctos is set to launch a service in the autumn that allows casual outdoorsmen to rent high-quality outdoor gear, with an option to buy at a discount after testing. The service, which promotes sustainable consumer habits, will be available online and taps into the growing sharing economy. The article also highlights Nuuksio National Park near Helsinki as an accessible outdoor destination with activities for the whole family.

Go With the Flow: Is This the World's Most Achingly Cool Festival?

18 Aug 2015  |  Forbes
Finland's Flow Festival is celebrated for its eclectic mix of music, art, food, and environmental consciousness. The festival, held at an abandoned power station in Helsinki, featured both renowned international acts and emerging Finnish bands, offering a platform for new talent. With a focus on music, the event also integrated technology through the Finnish app Luup, and emphasized sustainability with 100% waste recycling and biodiesel-powered stages. Gourmet food options with vegetarian and locally sourced ingredients were a highlight, alongside art installations and discussions on urban living. The festival's success is attributed to its diverse cultural offerings beyond just music.

Visiting Sweden: No Submarine Required

31 Oct 2014  |  Forbes
David MacDougall's article in Forbes provides a travel guide to Stockholm, Sweden, highlighting various attractions and experiences. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views from the Ericsson Globe, explore the historic old town of Gamla Stan, and indulge in the Swedish tradition of 'fika' at local cafés. The article also recommends visiting ABBA The Museum, the Royal Palace, and the Vasa Museum, which showcases a salvaged 17th-century ship. For dining, the Ostermalm food hall and restaurants like The Flying Elk and Den Gyldene Freden offer traditional Swedish cuisine. The piece concludes with suggestions for nightlife in the trendy Södermalm district.

Red-Eye Nightmares: The Solution To Help You Sleep Soundly In Coach

28 Oct 2014  |  Forbes
A team of Nordic entrepreneurs has developed the 'relax ALLY,' a sleep mask and headband designed to improve comfort during travel by preventing head slumping. Supported by the Finnish government and incubated at Aalto University, the product has received positive testimonials and has been sold in 35 countries. The company is exploring expansion into Asia and partnerships with airlines for mass distribution. The design has been recognized with the Finnish Design Mark, and future collaborations with brands like Angry Birds and Marimekko are being considered.

Is Apple Ruining Finland's Economy? Don't Believe Everything You Read

14 Oct 2014  |  Forbes
Finnish Prime Minister Alex Stubb's comments about Apple allegedly harming Finland's economy have sparked controversy. Stubb's remarks, which linked Apple's products to the decline of Nokia and the Finnish paper industry, were criticized by media outlets like TechCrunch. The article explores Finland's economic challenges, including a downgrade by S&P, and Stubb's efforts to address these issues through political consensus and structural reforms.

Helsinki Out Of Season: Fall In The Finnish Capital

10 Oct 2014  |  Forbes
Finland's autumn, often overshadowed by summer and winter, is being revitalized by Helsinki's new culinary guide, 'Food Helsinki? HEL YEAH!'. This map, part of a broader effort to promote the city's food culture, divides Helsinki into distinct districts, each highlighting top eateries and food traditions. Tourism expert Andrew Hallott supports this initiative, noting the growing trend of food tourism. The map emphasizes seasonal produce, with local stores like Anton & Anton providing month-by-month availability. Beyond food, Helsinki offers autumn attractions like the Linnanmäki theme park's light displays and traditional public saunas, enhancing the city's appeal during the off-season.

The Silence Of The Lambs: Travel Inspiration In East Iceland

29 Sep 2014  |  Forbes
Sigga Lund, a former radio star, has moved to Vaðbrekka farm in East Iceland with her boyfriend Alli, embracing a new life as a farmer with 300 sheep. The article highlights the contrast between Reykjavik and rural farm life, and encourages travelers to explore the natural beauty of East Iceland, including glaciers, waterfalls, and volcanic activity. Lund recommends the Kárahnjúkastífla dam project and local cuisine, particularly at Egilsstaðir Guesthouse, which is praised for its charming atmosphere and upcoming spa. The town of Egilsstaðir, with its mythical lake monster and snow-capped mountains, is suggested as an ideal base for exploring the region.

Iceland Volcano Eruption: So Far, So Good

31 Aug 2014  |  Forbes
Iceland's Bárðarbunga volcano eruption, characterized by fire fountains and slow-pouring lava, is impacting tourism and aviation. While some areas remain off-limits, the aviation ash threat level fluctuates, currently posing no flight restrictions. Experts like Hjörtur Smárason and Dave McGarvie provide insights, noting that the current eruption is less disruptive compared to the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

Paula Abdul connects to her Jewish roots on tourist trip to Israel

06 Nov 2013  |  Mail Online
Paula Abdul visited Israel to connect with her Jewish heritage and spirituality, touring the country as an official guest of the Ministry of Tourism. She visited holy sites, museums, and markets, and was hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres. Abdul reflected on her career, her passion for dance, and her views on twerking, which she does not find attractive. The trip was described as 'magical and emotional,' offering her a break from her usual concert tour schedule.

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