Stornoway Gazette revolution leads to Highland Media Awards prize

Winners of the Highlands and Islands Media Awards

The Stornoway Gazette was named Newspaper of the Year at the annual Highlands and Islands Media Awards.

The publication was presented with the prestigious award at the Highlands and Islands Press Ball in Inverness on Friday 4 February,. The prize of £500 is presented to a charity of the editor’s choice.

Gordon Fyfe, chairman of the media awards judging panel, said: “The Stornoway Gazette has undergone a remarkable transformation under the leadership of joint editors Murray MacLeod and Brian Wilson. It is a confident, community-focused publication. It is well designed and provides its readers with a wealth of news and views, features and photographs.”

Murray and Brian were appointed after JPIMedia was bought by National World at the start of 2021.

Writing on LinkedIn this weekend, Brian said: “A year ago, I was asked by the new owners to help breathe a bit of life into the near-corpse of the Stornoway Gazette.

“Not something I expected to be doing but it’s been an interesting journey and nice to be writing again about Highlands and Islands issues I care about. Best reward has been the response of people who appreciate the value of a good local newspaper.”

Loch a Tuath News, Lewis, was named Community Newspaper of the Year, receiving a cheque for £300, £100 of which goes to a charity of the choice of editor Jayne MacArthur.

Orcadian Chief Reporter Sarah Sutherland won the top individual prize of the night, being chosen as the Diageo Journalist of the Year. She wins £500, £300 of which goes to charity.

Journalists from Highland News and Media Ltd picked up two honours. Daniel Forsyth, was named Photographer of the Year while Alasdair Fraser, won the Jim Love Memorial Award for being Reporter of the Year.

Stan Arnaud won Business Reporter of the Year for his articles in the Press and Journal. Stan has moved on to work in public relations with Morrison Media. Susy Macaulay, Press and Journal, is Feature Writer of the Year.

Angus Peter Campbell, West Highland Free Press, won the Bòrd na Gàidhlig award for Best Use of Gaelic, while his colleague Kirsty Watt made it a double for the West Highland Free Press by winning the new Highland Tourism Environment and Sustainability Award.

The Young Journalist of the Year Award and the Alex Main Trophy went to Abigail Taylor, digital reporter with Am Paipear, which serves Uist and the Outer Hebrides. Eilidh Davies of the BBC is Sports Reporter of the Year.

Jim Tait, recently retired News Editor of the Shetland Times, received the Barron Trophy for lifelong achievement in journalism.

The Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards was held at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.

Principal sponsor was Diageo, and a new sponsor this year, Highland Tourism provided additional support along with the Kane Partnership, Statkraft, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Chivas Brothers, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the National Union of Journalists and Hub North Scotland. The ball’s charity fundraising will benefit four local organisations, namely Alzheimer Scotland, Macmillan Cancer Support, Action for Children and the Journalists’ Charity.

The full list of award winners is :

Environment and Sustainability (Highland Tourism Award)

Kirsty Watt, West Highland Free Press

Business Reporter of the Year Stan Arnaud, Press and Journal

Best Use of Gaelic (Bòrd na Gàidhlig Award) Angus Peter Campbell, West Highland Free Press

Young Journalist of the Year (Alex Main Trophy) Abigail Taylor, Am Paipear

Sports Reporter of the Year Eilidh Davies, BBC

Photographer of the Year Daniel Forsyth, Highland News and Media Ltd

Reporter of the Year (Jim Love Memorial Trophy) Alasdair Fraser, Highland News and Media Ltd

Feature Writer of the Year Susy Macaulay, Press and Journal

Community Newspaper of the Year Loch a Tuath News

Newspaper of the Year Stornoway Gazette

Diageo Journalist of the Year Sarah Sutherland, Orcadian

Barron Trophy for Lifetime Achievement Jim Tait, Shetland

  • In 2022, Behind Local News aims to celebrate local journalism in all its forms through our 365 Acts of Local Journalism Project. Lets us know what you think should be included. You can email us here or contact us via Twitter on BehindLocalNews or on Facebook here.

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