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Weekly scoops three prizes at annual media awards

A weekly newspaper has beaten off the competition to scoop three prizes at an annual Scottish media awards which is now in its 25th year.

West Highland Free Press journalist Murray Macleod was named the Journalist of the Year at the Highlands and Islands Media Awards at a press ball on Friday.

Others from the title who won prizes were Willie Urquhart, who was named the top photographer, and Keith Mackenzie, who was picked as the top sports writer.

The Newspaper of the Year title went to the Inverness Courier, in recognition of its £1m campaign in partnership with the Archie Foundation to to transform facilities for children at Raigmore Hospital in the city – which hit its target last November.

Also recognised with a lifetime achievement award was former Scotsman journalist John Ross, who was given the Barron Trophy for his role organising the annual press ball for the last 25 years as chairman of its committee.

The winners were presented with their awards by Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness.

The award for the best use of digital media went to Shetland News, an online news site which was initially founded in 1995 then relaunched in 2003.

Pete Bevington, from the site, said: “It is very satisfying to receive such recognition for the work that we do.

“We would like to thank all the people who have helped make Shetland News such a success – our readers, our advertisers and the growing number of contributors.”

The full list of winners is:

Bord na Gaidhlig Award: Andreas Wolff, BBC Alba

Best use of digital media:  Shetland News

Young Journalist:  Kaye Nicolson, Press and Journal, Elgin

Sports:  Keith Mackenzie, West Highland Free Press

Photographer:  Willie Urquhart, West Highland Free Press

Top Shot of the Year:  Alasdair Allen, Scottish Provincial Press

Reporter of the Year:  Jenna Conti, Highland News

Top story:  Eric Mackinnon, Stornoway Gazette

Feature Writer:  David Flanagan, Orkney

Community Newspaper:  Fios, Ness

Newspaper:  Inverness Courier

Journalist of the Year:  Murray MacLeod, West Highland Free Press