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Prize marks journalist's half-century of service

A freelance reporter who has served the journalism industry for half a century has won a lifetime achievement award.

Ian Abernethy, from Lochaber in Fort William, is this year’s winner of the Barron Trophy in the Highland and Islands Media Awards.

After providing reports to local newspapers as a young teenager, Ian got his first fully accredited job in journalism in 1959 as Lochaber correspondent for Aberdeen daily the Press and Journal.

And he continues to file reports from his patch to the local and national press through his agency Abernethy Highland Press as well as running a second hand book shop in Fort William.

Ian later worked for the Highland News Group before heading to London in 1963 where he joined the press services division of the Central Office of Information.

Returning to Lochaber 17 years later, he worked for the Lochaber News and continued supplying other regional and national newspapers as a freelancer.

Ian was nominated by Iain Ferguson, who owns journalism and PR agency The Write Image, and has been named photographer of the year twice in these awards.

He said: “Ian is still the first call of newspapers across the world on all matters concerning Lochaber, such as mountain rescues on Ben Nevis, on-location blockbusting movies, and the steam trains ‘setting the heather on fire’.

“Ian looks after not only their interests, but also those of the people he features to ensure fairness, satisfaction and quality journalism all round.

“He is renowned in the area as Roamer, collecting and publishing anecdotes of life in Lochaber, which can also be the small acorns from which great stories grow.

“He still writes on from his office which doubles as a base for his other interest in buying and selling second hand, out-of-print and antiquarian books.

“A man of many printed words, surrounded by many printed words, Ian is a worthy recipient of an award which recognises a lifetime of work and dedication to the trade.”

  • Ian will join a host of other winners, as revealed last week, in Nairn for the annual ceremony tomorrow night when the top prize of journalist of the year will also be presented.
  • Comments

    Nick Hunter (04/02/2010 09:57:30)
    Many congratulations to “Biscuits” – a grumpy, great journalist of the old school. News of this award to a real Lochaber character has made my day. Keep on “Roaming”!