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Highlands and Islands media winners named

Talented local reporters have been recognised with prizes in this year’s Highlands and Islands Media Awards.

Thurso-based Corrina Thomson has been named as Reporter of the Year – the second year in succession that a journalist from North of Scotland Newspapers has been awarded this honour.

Kennedy Stewart, of the Shetland Post was named Young Journalist of the Year.

The Northern Scot, Elgin, was named as Newspaper of the Year for the second time in three years and it registered three further successes. Eric Cormack took the Local Newspaper Photographer of the Year Award, Chris Saunderson got the award for Sports Reporter of the Year and the Northern Scot editor, Pauline Taylor, was named as the winner of the Barron Trophy for outstanding services to journalism.

John Paul, a freelance photographer from Inverness, won the Photographer of the Year award.

Meanwhile, the newest recruit to the John O’Groat Journal and Caithness Courier, Ally McGilvray, has been highly commended in the Young Journalist of the Year category.

The Feature Writer of the Year award went to Bruce Sandison, a freelance writer based at Tongue whose winning entry included his fortnightly column in the John O’Groat Journal, “From Beyond the Split Stane”.

The success of the staff reporters at the Groat and Courier follows on from last year’s double win when senior reporter Noel Donaldson was named Reporter of the Year and went on to scoop the Classic Malts Journalist of the Year title.

Corrina, (28), was awarded the Reporter of the Year title for her work covering issues related to the nuclear industry.

A graduate of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh who gained a Master of Arts with honours in landscape architecture, Corrina returned to Caithness from the Scottish capital in 2001 to become North of Scotland Newspapers’ Thurso reporter and put her interest in politics and the nuclear industry to use in her new career.

Corrina said: “I am very happy that the judges think I am good enough to be Highlands and Islands Reporter of the Year. Writing about the nuclear industry has made me realise just how important a free press and freedom of information and speech are.”

The prizes were due to be handed over by First Minister Jack McConnell at the awards ceremony in the Newton Hotel, Nairn, tonight.

The judges were Gordon Fyfe, head of the Highland Council’s public relations office (chairman); Charlie Whelan, newspaper columnist and commentator; John Ross, of The Scotsman; David Ross, of The Herald; and Donald MacNeill, of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which co-sponsors the awards with Diageo.

The top award – the Classic Malts Journalist of the Year – will be announced at the ceremony.

  • Copy courtesy of the John O’Groat Journal

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