Lyons first Scots journalism student to win training ‘excellence’ award

A REPORTER with the Highland News newspaper has become the first Scot to win an ‘excellence award’ issued by the journalism training body, the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

David Lyons receive his award – for his sports reporting while a student at Glasgow Caledonian University – from broadcaster, Michael Parkinson, who has written extensively about sport.

Lyons has been with the Highland News since October. This is the fifth year of the NCTJ’s Excellence Awards.

Lyons recently graduated with an MA in Multimedia Journalism from GCU.

His winning entries included an article about an European netball tournament in Glasgow, during which he seized the opportunity to interview the former President of Switzerland, just months after she stepped down.

A second article highlighted the story of an Afghan refugee, who was forced to flee his home country and started a new life in Glasgow, using his football skills as a way to meet people.

A third focused on a rugby tournament that was being held on the island of Colonsay.

Two of the articles appeared on a website, We are Free Agents, which Lyons set up with a fellow student, David Childs, from Glasgow University.

Lyons’ Student Sports Journalism award was one of ten presented by the NCTJ, including news, features, scoop and image. Two performance awards, NCTJ Student Journalist of the Year and NCTJ Trainee of the Year, were also presented.

In a GCU media release, Lyons is quoted, speaking of his time at the university: “I wanted to be a journalist and knew it was best to study a course that was NCTJ accredited so I visited GCU and had a look around the facilities in the journalism department, which were brilliant. The MA Multimedia Journalism had good reviews from former students and that decided it for me.

“The course was great and we were encouraged to get as much work experience as we could – I spent time at The Herald shadowing the chief reporter, which was amazing, and I did freelance work for a few sports publications. Going to GCU was the best decision I could have made.”