Honorary degrees for media duo

TWO major Scottish figures in the media world have both been recognised with the award of honorary degrees.

Journalist, Neal Ascherson, and broadcasting pioneer, Andrew Lewis, have been honoured by Aberdeen University, the former arguably best known for his work on The Observer newspaper, the latter the founder of Northsound radio station.

Ascherson, who is currently editor of Public Archaeology, is a distinguished Scottish author and journalist who eschewed an academic career in favour of journalism.

He began at the Manchester Guardian, before moving on to The Scotsman between 1959 and 1960. A year later, he had joined The Observer for what would be a 30-year spell. Between 1990 and 1998, he wrote for the Independent on Sunday. Between 1975 and 1979, he also worked in Edinburgh as Scottish political correspondent of The Scotsman.

Ascherson was Central Europe correspondent for The Observer during the later stages of the Cold War, and contributed scripts for the 1998 documentary series, The Cold War, and also the 1974 series, The World at War. In recent years, he has also been a regular contributor to the London Review of Books.

He has lectured and written extensively about Polish and Eastern Europe affairs, and, in 1992, was awarded the Polish Order of Service by President Lech Walesa.

Two years ago, he was appointed a visiting professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and is editor of Public Archaeology, an academic journal associated with UCL.

His publications include The King Incorporated (1963), The Polish August (1981), The Nazi Legacy (1985), The Struggles for Poland (1987), Games with Shadows (1988), Black Sea (1995) and Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland (2002).

Andrew Lewis, meanwhile, has played major roles in civic and commercial life in Aberdeen over four decades, and last year stepped down as chair of NorthSound, the commercial radio station for Aberdeen and NE Scotland, which he founded 30 years ago.

Lewis has also been honorary consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Aberdeen since 1976, and was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in recognition of his service.