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Students aim to honour their journalistic heroes

Journalism students in Scotland have launched a new awards scheme designed to honour those who have inspired them to pursue a career in the media.

Students at Edinburgh Napier University will present the first Napier Awards Ceremony on Monday, including gongs for Scottish Publication of the Year, Scottish Broadcast Journalist of the Year, and Scottish Print Journalist of the Year.

The awards were launched after tutor and former BBC current affairs producer John Mair secured support for the idea.

Mr Mair, who formerly lectured at Coventry University’s department of media and communication, introduced a series of guest talks at Napier, inviting industry professionals such as Alan Little, Val Atkinson and Alan Clements to chat to students.

Fourth-year undergraduate Andy Mackie, aged 39, has organised the awards along with fellow students Jenny Kassner and Rachel Watson, and said it was these talks which gave them the idea to run their own Scottish media awards.

“The aim of these awards is for us as journalism students to recognise those in the industry who have influenced and inspired us,” he said.

“It has been fantastic to welcome guests such as Allan Little and Val Atkinson, with the opportunity to interact and learn from them. Hopefully the award ceremony will act as an extension of this.”

Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark will host the event, to be held at the university’s Craighouse campus.

A special award recognising former graduates – the Edinburgh Napier Alumni of the Year Award – will also be presented on the day.

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Scottish Print Journalist of the Year

Eddie Barnes – Scotsman/Edinburgh Evening News

Aidan Smith – Scotland on Sunday/Scotsman

Iain MacWhirter – Sunday Herald

Scottish Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Alan Little – BBC

Brian Taylor – BBC Scotland  political editor

Phil Goodlad – BBC Scotland sports reporter

Edinburgh Napier Alumni of the Year

Chris McLaughlin – BBC Scotland Senior Football Reporter

Cat Shearer – BBC Scotland newsreader

Atholl Duncan – Formerly BBC Scotland’s head of news and current affairs

Scottish Publication of the Year

The Skinny

Sunday Herald

Holyrood Magazine