THE former editor of The Northern Scot newspaper, Mike Collins, is to receive a prestigious award which recognises a lifetime of achievement in journalism in the Highlands and Islands.
Mike will receive the Barron Trophy at the annual Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards, being held at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness, on Friday 2 February.
During his 44-year career in journalism, Mike has written mile-upon-mile of copy, bringing to life thousands of reports from across his Moray beat.
He stood down as editor of the ‘Scot’ at the end of last year after ten years at the helm. Under his editorship, the ‘Scot’ was named the Highlands and Islands, Scottish and UK Weekly Newspaper of the Year for its coverage of the 2010/11 Save RAF Lossiemouth campaign.
Mike said: “Winning those awards were very proud achievements for the newspaper, highlighting the importance of our campaigning credentials and the key role we play in our local community.
“Being awarded the Barron Trophy for a lifetime of achievement in journalism is another accolade I will cherish. It is great to be recognised by my fellow journalists.”
Born and brought up in Keith, Mike was educated at St Thomas’ Primary and then at Keith Grammar. On leaving school, he studied journalism in Edinburgh before finding a job as a young reporter at the Banffshire Herald in his home town.
He went on to the Huntly Express before returning to the Keith paper as editor in 1976. He remained there until moving to the role of sub-editor with The Press and Journal and then back to the ‘Scot’ as a sub-editor and news editor.
He progressed through the roles of group chief sub-editor – working on the Forres Gazette, Banffshire Journal and Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, too – as ‘Scot’ deputy editor and, finally, editor.
It was in June 2007, following the retirement of his predecessor, Pauline Taylor, that he took the helm.
Mike has been reporting on Keith FC matches since 1973 and intends to continue providing match reports for the ‘Scot’.
He lives in Keith with his wife, Lorna, and has two children – Kevin and Paula – and has three grandchildren.
At the ‘Scot’, he has passed on the baton to Chris Saunderson and Joe Millican, who will be joint group content editors for a newly-formed Elgin hub and team of community reporters producing The Northern Scot as well as The Forres Gazette, Banffshire Journal, Banffshire Herald, Banffshire Advertiser and the Huntly Express.
The Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards is organised by Inverness-based communications and PR company System2 and is sponsored by Diageo, HighNet, Chivas Brothers, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the National Union of Journalists and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
The event’s charity fundraising will benefit four organisations – The Oxygen Works, created by the MS Therapy Centre; Alzheimer Scotland; Children’s Hospices Across Scotland; and the British Heart Foundation.
For further information about the Highlands and Islands Media Awards contact
Gordon Fyfe on 07880 783 707 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For all enquiries about the Highlands and Islands Press Ball, contact:
01463 714403; 07730 099617
Further details on the event are available on the website www.pressball.info
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