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UK’s longest-serving editor wins lifetime achievement honour

Ian McCormackThe UK’s longest-serving editor is among those to have been honoured at the 41st Scottish Press Awards.

Ian McCormack, who edited the West Highland Free Press for 44 years before retiring in January, has been unveiled as the winner of the annual prizegiving’s Lifetime Achievement honour.

There were also wins for the Dundee Courier, which won Digital Team of the Year for its ‘Shaped by a River: Tales of the Tay’ special series, and The Scotsman’s Gina Davidson, who won the Nicola Barry Award in honour of campaigning journalism by women.

Other regional winners included the Fife Free Press, which was named Weekly Newspaper of the Year and the Lennox Herald, which won Local/Weekly Campaign of the Year.

The Greenock Telegraph’s David Goodwin was named Local/Weekly Reporter of the Year, while Norman Silvester, news reporter and investigative journalist at the Sunday Mail, was awarded both the Reporter of the Year Award and the coveted Journalist at the Year Award for his report of the death of prisoner Allan Marshall at Saughton Prison.

Scottish Newspaper Society director John McLellan said: “The awards show how important news publishing is to Scotland, locally or nationally; recognising and celebrating the good, exposing the bad, recording achievement for posterity, reflecting life in our communities, linking people and businesses.

“Without the steady source of trusted information our journalists provide, little of this would be possible.

“Be it on mobile, laptop, desktop or print, our titles reach more people than ever before, and much more quickly; the role Scottish journalists play was vital before, is vital now in the midst of the greatest crisis anyone has ever experienced, and will be even more vital in the recovery to come.”

The awards ceremony itself, which was due to take place today, was postponed last month due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Paying tribute to Ian, John added: “44 years as editor of a single title is a truly remarkable achievement and one unlikely to be repeated any time soon.

“Under Ian, the West Highland Free Press remained defiantly independent and true to its radical roots, providing a distinctive voice for the people of Skye and beyond. We wish him a very long and happy retirement.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

Sports Photographer of the Year
Ian MacNicol, Getty Images

News Photographer of the Year
Jeff Mitchell, Getty Images

Arts/Entertainment Journalist of the Year
Barry Didcock, The Herald/Herald on Sunday

Young Journalist of the Year
Georgia Edkins, Scottish Mail on Sunday

Interviewer of the Year
Emma Cowing, Scottish Daily Mail

Political Journalist of the Year
Paul Hutcheon, Daily Record

Columnist of the Year
Melanie Reid, The Times

Local/Weekly Sports Writer of the Year
Paul Thomson, East Kilbride News

Sports Columnist of the Year
Michael Grant, The Times

Sports Feature Writer of the Year
Gary Keown, Scottish Mail on Sunday

Sports News Writer of the Year
Stephen McGowan, Scottish Daily Mail

Financial/Business Journalist of the Year
Greig Cameron, The Times

Local/Weekly Feature Writer of the Year
Jack Haugh, The Gazette

Feature Writer of the Year
Dani Garravelli, Scotland on Sunday/The Scotsman

Podcast of the Year
Gianni Marini, Democracy on your Doorstep

Video of the Year
Craig Sinclair, Edinburgh Evening News

Scoop of the Year
Thomas Brown, The Scottish Sun

Headline of the Year
Dundee Evening Telegraph

Front Page of the Year
The Scottish Sun

Journalism Team of the Year
Scottish Mail on Sunday

Digital Team of the Year
Dundee Courier

Local/Weekly Campaign of the Year
Lennox Herald

Campaign of the Year
Sunday Post

Local/Weekly Reporter of the Year
David Goodwin, Greenock Telegraph

Reporter of the Year
Norman Silvester, Sunday Mail

The Nicola Barry Award
Gina Davidson, The Scotsman

Weekly Newspaper of the Year
Fife Free Press

Lifetime Achievement Award
Ian McCormack

Journalist of the Year
Norman Silvester

Newspaper of the Year
The Mail on Sunday

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  • April 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Congratulations sir Ian!
    44 years as an editor when an editor was an editor is an incredible achievement and a milestone which will never be reached again, nowhere near it.
    May your retirement be a long and very happy one

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