AddThis SmartLayers

Former journalist to get lifetime achievement award

A former regional press journalist who has organised an annual press ball for the last 25 years has won a special award recognising his long-standing contribution.

Former Scotsman journalist John Ross, left, has been chairman of the Highlands and Islands Press Ball committee for the last 25 years, raising more than £75,000 for local charities.

The silver jubilee of the ball takes place on 1 February where the Highlands and Islands Media Awards will be presented, and John has already been announced as the recipient of the Barron Trophy, which recognises a lifetime achievement in journalism.

The shortlist for the awards has also been announced, which aims to recognise the best journalism in the most northerly parts of Scotland.

Gordon Fyfe, chair of the Highlands and Islands Media Awards panel, said: “It is fitting that we recognise John’s huge contribution to journalism at the silver jubilee of the Press Ball.

“He is the driving force behind this prestigious event, which has become a top date in the Highland social calendar and raises so much money for local charities.”

John started his career at Aberdeen’s Press and Journal, moving on to work for a freelance news and public relations agency, before working for The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday for more than 16 years as its Highlands and Islands correspondent.

He left that role last January to become news and media manager with Lucid PR, Events and Marketing.

At the awards, three papers will battle it out for the newspaper of the year category – the Inverness Courier, Strathspey and Badenoch Herald; and the West Highland Free Press.

And the three journalists who will compete for reporter of the year title are Jenna Conti of the Highland News, Murray MacLeod of the West Highland Free Press and Michelle Robson from the Stornoway Gazette.

The full shortlist is:

Young Journalist

Jenny Kane, Stornoway Gazette
Kaye Nicolson, Press and Journal, Elgin

Sports Writer of the Year

Ian Auld, Moray Firth Radio
Keith MacKenzie, West Highland Free Press
Eric Mackinnon, Stornoway Gazette

Photographer of the Year

Gary Anthony, SPP
Trevor Martin, freelance, Inverness
Willie Urquhart, West Highland Free Press

Top Shot of the Year

Alasdair Allen, SPP
Trevor Martin
Willie Urquhart

Bord na Gaidhlig Award

Andreas Wolff, BBC ALBA
Monster FM, Liz McIntyre
The Scottish Chart, MFR

Best use of digital media

Inverness Gigs, Chris Lemon
Shetland News, Hans J Marter and Pete Bevington
Stornoway Gazette, Michelle Robson

Reporter of the Year

Jenna Conti, Highland News
Murray MacLeod, West Highland Free Press
Michelle Robson, Stornoway Gazette

Top story

Moira Kerr, freelance, Argyll
Eric Mackinnon, Stornoway Gazette
MFR news team

Feature Writer

Dave Flanagan, Freelance, Orkney
Alan Hendry, SPP
Murray MacLeod, West Highland Free Press

Community Newspaper

Black Isle Chatterbox, Claire Divine
Fios, Hugh MacInnes
Kilmallie Community News, Margaret Mackenzie


Inverness Courier, Robert Taylor
Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, Gavin Musgrove
West Highland Free Press, Ian McCormack