That Was the Year That Was: Paul O’Hare, journalist, Daily Record

GOOD year, bad year? With 2014 drawing to a close, we ask Daily Record journalist, Paul O’Hare: ‘How has it been for you?’.

Briefly, what is it that you do?

Daily Record crime correspondent.

Choose three words that sum up 2014 (so far), from a professional point of view.

Challenging. Exciting. Rewarding.

In 2013, what was your biggest ambition for 2014, and to what extent did you achieve it?

I didn’t have a specific goal in mind other than to keep improving as a journalist and make the most of what was always going to be an epic news year.

How has 2014 (so far) been for you, personally?

It has been the most memorable year of my career.

In January, I travelled to Colombia with the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), to visit projects supported by the charity’s annual, Wee Box campaign.

The trip was a phenomenal experience and my features covered subjects such as sexual violence, displacement and illegal mining.

The individual interviews were heartbreaking but the strength and resilience of the people who shared their stories was inspirational.

Last month, my series of special reports, Colombia: Caught in the Crossfire, won the Nations and Regions prize at the Amnesty International Media Awards in London.

It was a massive honour to win the award and I will always be grateful to SCIAF and my editors at the Record for giving me the opportunity to report from Latin America.

It’s also been an exceptionally busy year on the crime beat, with guilty verdicts in two of Scotland’s most notorious cold cases – the murder of Elaine Doyle (1986) and the World’s End murders (1977).

On a lighter note, I was privileged to be part of the Record’s news team for the Commonwealth Games.

A Glasgow 2014 press pass was the equivalent of a Willy Wonka Golden Ticket and I tried to take in as much action as possible when I wasn’t working.

As a sports fan, my personal highlight was watching the remarkable Usain Bolt in the 4x100m final at Hampden.

Any changes this year in technology, legislation, the economy, etc that have had a relatively significant impact on the business?

It’s too early to say but it will be interesting to see how the recently-launched Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) performs next year.

What looking forward to, in 2015 – personally and professionally?

Personally, I’m looking forward to running the Berlin Marathon.

Professionally, I’m looking forward to a number of major criminal trials, the General Election, Scotland’s bid to qualify for Euro 2016 and the Open Championship at St Andrews.