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Island weekly wins top prize in annual awards

Orkney Today has been named the top newspaper at the annual Highland and Islands Media Awards.

The judging panel praised the weekly for its good layout and all round coverage of news, features and sports.

Today’s editor Catherine Turnbull will receive a cheque for £500, to be donated to a charity of the newspaper’s choosing, at the awards ceremony in Nairn on 5 February.

Also picking up prizes will be Louise Lee, from the Oban Times, was named reporter of the year while Donald Wilson, of the Highland News, was highly commended in the same category.

The West Highland Free Press recorded three successes as Willie Urquhart took photographer of the year, Keith Mackenzie was named best sportswriter and Alasdair Campbell was highly commended in the Gaelic category.

The recognition comes just months after workers at the Free Press took the bold step of buying out the paper’s previous owners, making it, what is believed to be, the only staff-owned title in the UK.

The awards attract prize money of £2,300 and the top prize of journalist of the year will be revealed at ball next month.

The full list of winners is:

Award for Best Gaelic Entry

Winner: Andreas Wolff, BBC Alba
Highly Commended: Alasdair Campbell, West Highland Free Press

Best Use of Journalism on the Web

Winner: Steven Mckenzie, BBC

Local Newspaper Photographer of the Year

Winner: Gary Anthony, Scottish Provincial Press
Highly Commended: Eric Cormack, Northern Scot

Photographer of the Year

Winner: Willie Urquhart, West Highland Free Press
Highly Commended: Trevor Martin, freelance, Inverness

Young Journalist of the Year

Winner: Fiona Miller, Moray Firth Radio
Highly Commended: Jenny Morrison, Inverness Courier

Sportswriter of the Year

Winner: Keith Mackenzie, West Highland Free Press
Highly Commended: Eric Mackinnon, Stornoway Gazette

Local Reporter of the Year

Winner: Andy Dixon, Inverness Courier
Highly Commended: Gavin Musgrove, Strathspey and Badenoch Herald

Reporter of the Year

Winner: Louise Lee, ObanTimes
Highly Commended: Donald Wilson, Highland News

Feature Writer of the Year

Winner: Aileen MacNicol, Dunoon Observer
Highly Commended: Lorraine Shearer, Orcadian

Community Newspaper of the Year

Am Paipear, Benbecula

Newspaper of the Year

Orkney Today