Orkney Today Wins Highlands & Islands Media Accolade

Staff at what is believed to be the UK's only employee-owned newspaper have recorded three successes at this year's annual awards celebrating the best media in the Highlands and Islands, but it was not to be for the West Highland Free Press in the race to be named Newspaper of the Year.

That accolade went to Orkney Today, with the West Highland Free Press having to content itself with the Photographer of the Year title (for Willie Urquhart), the Sportswriter of the Year prize (for Keith Mackenzie) and a highly commended for Alasdair Campbell in the Gaelic section of the prizes. 

For Orkney Today editor, Catherine Turnbull, she will receive a cheque for £500, to be donated to a charity of the newspaper's choice, at the Highland and Islands Press Ball being held in Nairn next month, with the awards' judges commending the paper for its “good lay out and all round coverage of news, features and sports”.

Among the other prizes, the Community Newspaper of the Year title has gone to Am Paipear, produced on Benbecula, with Louise Lee, of the Oban Times, winning the Jim Love Memorial Trophy as Reporter of the Year.  

The Dunoon Observer appeared on the list of winners for the first time, with Aileen MacNicol being chosen as the Feature Writer of the Year, while Moray Firth Radio's Fiona Miller has been named Young Journalist of the Year.

The full list of winners is:

Bord Na Gaidhlig Award for best Gaelic entry

Winner: Andreas Wolff, BBC Alba.

Highly Commended: Alasdair Campbell, West Highland Free Press

Best Use of Journalism on the Web

Winner: Steven Mckenzie, BBC

Local Newspaper Photographer of the Year

Winner: Gary Anthony, Scottish Provincial Press

Highly Commended: Eric Cormack, Northern Scot

Photographer of the Year

Winner: Willie Urquhart, West Highland Free Press

Highly Commended: Trevor Martin, freelance, Inverness

Young Journalist of the Year and the Alex Main Trophy

Winner: Fiona Miller, Moray Firth Radio

Highly Commended: Jenny Morrison, Inverness Courier

Sportswriter of the Year

Winner: Keith Mackenzie, West Highland Free Press

Highly Commended: Eric Mackinnon, Stornoway Gazette

Local Reporter of the Year

Winner: Andy Dixon, Inverness Courier

Highly Commended: Gavin Musgrove, Strathspey and Badenoch Herald

Reporter of the Year and the Jim Love Memorial Trophy

Winner: Louise Lee, ObanTimes

Highly Commended: Donald Wilson, Highland News

Feature Writer of the Year

Winner: Aileen MacNicol, Dunoon Observer

Highly Commended: Lorraine Shearer, Orcadian

UHI Millennium Institute Community Newspaper of the Year

Am Paipear, Benbecula

Newspaper of the Year

Orkney Today

Journalist of the Year

To be announced at the Press Ball on February 5.