Chris Saunderson, Deputy Editor of the Northern Scot, has been named the Journalist of the Year for the Highlands and Islands. Chris was presented with his prize by the Right Honourable Danny Alexander, MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury at the annual Highland and Islands Press Ball at Nairn on Friday night.
Chris demonstrated ability across the many and varied disciplines of the business and won a prize of £500, £300 of which goes to a charity of his choice as well as a bottle of the Classic Malt and a certificate.
Gordon Fyfe, Chairman of the Highland and Islands Media Awards' judging panel, said: "Chris was the unanimous choice of all the judges. He is a credit to his newspaper with the consistently high quality of his work - again ably demonstrated this year. He presented strong entries in four separate categories. He excelled by taking on almost all of the coverage of his paper's biggest story for years involving the closure of RAF Kinloss and the threat to the future of RAF Lossiemouth, providing a detailed, clear and informed insight into the complexities of the many issues involved. He has also led his paper's priorities in focusing on people stories. His coverage of local news, features and sport has earned him widespread respect and acknowledgement at local and national levels."
Chris also won the best story of the year award with his campaigning article on the future of RAF Lossiemouth and helped the Northern Scot win Newspaper of the Year.
The awards are sponsored by Diageo, the world's largest drinks company, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, .
Four charities will benefit from the £3,050 raised at the Press Ball. They are the Children's Hospice Association Scotland, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Highland Society for Blind People and the Linda Norgrove Foundation .
The full list of winners is as follows: