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Double award for Highlands journalist

Inverness Courier reporter Helen Paterson made it a brace at the Highlands and Islands Media Awards when she was crowned journalist of the year.

The 25-year-old picked up the top prize at the annual awards ceremony after being named local reporter of the year when the winners’ list was revealed last month.

Helen moved to the Inverness Courier, which was also awarded newspaper of the year, as a reporter two years ago from the East Lothian News and has recently taken up duties on the newsdesk.

Awards chairman Gordon Fyfe said she was the unanimous choice of the five-strong judging panel, entering a strong portfolio of exclusive news reports and well-researched and written features.

He added: “Helen is a credit to her newspaper with her thorough research, accurate reporting and easy writing style.”

Courier editor Robert Taylor said: “This was a wonderful achievement and a fitting reward for our talented and committed staff.

“Producing a newspaper is a very much a team effort and I am fortunate to be working with one of the best in the business.”

Helen won £600 cash – half of which she will give to charity. Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond handed out the prizes at Friday’s awards ceremony in Nairn.

The ball also raised an estimated £2,600 which will be split among four charities – Highland Antenatal and Postnatal Illness Support, Special Needs Action Project, Kidney Kids Scotland and the Puffin Hydrotherapy Pool.

The full list of award winners is:

Journalist of the Year
Helen Paterson, Inverness Courier

Newspaper of the Year
Inverness Courier

Barron Trophy for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism
Donnie Macinnes, Stornoway Gazette

Community Newspaper of the Year
West Word, Mallaig

Reporter of the Year
Winner: Lorraine Shearer, Orcadian
Highly Commended: Michelle Robson, Stornoway Gazette

Local Reporter of the Year
Winner: Helen Paterson, Inverness Courier
Highly Commended: Euan Paterson, Oban Times

Young Journalist of the Year
Winner: Andy Dixon, Inverness Courier
Highly Commended: Neil Riddell, Shetland Times

Photographer of the Year
Winner: Bobby Nelson, Scottish Provincial Press
Highly Commended: Willie Urquhart, West Highland Free Press

Local Newspaper Photographer of the Year
Winner: Ken Amer, Orkney Photographic
Highly Commended: Gary Anthony, Scottish Provisional Press

Feature Writer of the Year
Winner: Murray MacLeod, West Highland Free Press
Highly Commended: Calum MacLeod, Inverness Courier

Sportswriter of the Year
Winner: Keith Mackenzie, West Highland Free Press
Highly Commended: Eric Mackinnon, Stornoway Gazette

Best Gaelic Entry
Winner: Angus Peter Campbell, Skye
Highly Commended: Murray MacLeod, West Highland Free Press

Best Use of Journalism on the Web
Winner: Stephen Mackenzie, BBC

  • Journalist of the year Helen Paterson with Alex Salmond
  • Newspaper of the year – Inverness Courier
  • Comments

    Shirley Whiteley (11/02/2009 13:57:59)
    The Courier is an absolutely first-class locally- orientated and locally-produced paper – and there aren’t many of those left these days! These awards are richly deserved and long overdue. Well done everyone!