Ian, left, was given the accolade in recognition of his 35 years in the newspaper industry, his roles in a variety of posts representing the media and his association with the university.
In his acceptance speech, Ian recalled his early days as a young trainee reporter when, in an age before mobile phones and computers, he would dash around attempting to find a working phone box to phone over his copy to meet deadlines.
He said: “Although the technology may have changed since then, what people are interested in as news remains more or less the same.”
Speaking at Tuesday’s graduation ceremony, Ian added: “Southampton Solent University has such a creative buzz about it and I am truly honoured to have been part of today’s graduation ceremony at the Guild Hall where so many future leaders of media were receiving their degrees.”
Ian, who recently stepped down as president of the Society of Editors, was seen receiving the award by wife Jill, daughters Holly and Georgia, and parents Doug and Jean.