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Honorary doctorate for editor after 15 years at head of city title

The longest-serving editor of a daily Scottish newspaper has received an honorary degree.

Derek Tucker was awarded the Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Aberdeen in recognition of his editorship of the city’s Press and Journal.

Derek, who has been editor at the P&J since 1992, said: “I am absolutely delighted and extremely surprised to be recognised in this way by the University of Aberdeen.

“It is probably the proudest day of my life in terms of recognition for the newspaper.

“If you have held this job with the Press and Journal, you realise there is no other newspaper in Britain like it, and I am incredibly proud to have been given the opportunity and the time to take it forward.

“I view the honour as recognition of the role the Press and Journal plays in the life of the north and north-east of Scotland.”

Derek was born in Liverpool in 1953 and began his career with the Express and Star, in Wolverhampton, in 1972.

There he rose through the ranks to deputy editor before moving north of the border in 1992.

Since taking over the helm in Aberdeen, he has introduced a number of strategies such as reporters’ surgeries in the towns and villages of Aberdeenshire to strengthen links with communities.

He is also in his second terms as a member of the Press Complaints Commission.

During the ceremony Derek was described as an innovative editor under whose guidance several successful campaigns had been conducted and who had helped strengthen the newspaper’s identity within the north of Scotland.

Professor Dominic Houlihan, vice-principal for research and commercialisation at the university, said Derek’s contribution had “helped to give a voice to the concerns of the people of this part of Scotland and to promote the region to the world beyond”.