A weekly newspaper’s campaign to turn a deadly trunk road in its patch into a dual carriageway has been awarded a top industry honour.
The Highland News and Media title has been campaigning to have the road dualled since 2007, but Scotland’s ruling Scottish National Party has recently reneged on a pledge to do the work by 2025.
The Courier shares the prize with national daily the Metro, which was honoured for its campaign to ensure the safety of formula baby milk.
The ‘Making a Difference’ award aims to emphasise the crucial role played by journalism in our society and the public is encouraged to vote for their favourite entries.
NMA chief executive Owen Meredith said: “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to The Metro and The Inverness Courier for winning the prestigious 2023 Making a Difference award in the
national and local categories.
“The entries this year have showcased the outstanding work carried out by UK journalists, day in, day out, that keeps us engaged and well-informed.
“These winning campaigns emphasise the vital significance of trusted independent journalism, along with highlighting the news media’s ability to deliver powerful investigations, campaigns, and scoops that are important to the public.
“Both Dual the A9 and Formula For Change are exemplary instances of the essential role that journalism plays in our society, shining a light on such important causes.
“The journalists behind these campaigns should be extremely proud of their achievements.”
When the Courier received confirmation that the SNP government would not fulfil its promise to dual the A9 by 2025, it published a viral front page which garnered over a million views.
The title then launched a leadership debate with all three SNP candidates, a dedicated section on their website and hosted the A9 Crisis Summit.
The summit saw bereaved families, concerned locals, business leaders, MSPs and councillors come together to discuss safety improvements and dualling issues.
Action points from the summit were later presented to Humza Yousaf, Scottish First Minister and leader of the SNP. The party has since promised that a timeline with a new completion date will be announced in due course.