The outgoing editor of the Liverpool Echo and other leading local and broadcast journalists have been recognised in the belated Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Ali Machray, the longstanding Editor of the Liverpool Echo for 15 years was awarded an MBE for services to journalism while former KM Group Chairman Geraldine Allinson was awarded an OBE alongside ex-BBC Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams. Both former BBC deputy director-general Anne Bulford and journalist Lorraine Kelly were awarded CBEs.
Machray, who announced that he would step down from editing the Liverpool Echo earlier this year, started his career in journalism in 1979 and has edited Reach titles in Liverpool for 25 years. He edited the Daily Post’s Liverpool and North Wales editions from 1995 to 2002 and the North Wales Daily Post from 2002 to 2005. He took over the editorship of the Liverpool Echo in 2005 and handed over the reins this year to his successor Maria Breslin. Machray also saw the Echo’s website awarded The Overall Digital Award at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards for 2019 earlier this year.
Speaking to the Echo after the news was announced, Machray said that the award was in recognition of the many journalists who had worked for the Northern title over many years.
He said: “I regard this as an honour for the Liverpool Echo and the generations of brilliant and committed journalists who have worked there.
“I am touched and delighted. I have had an amazing career, which is reward enough in itself.
“It has been a privilege to serve communities and I will continue to do so in whatever I do next.”
Geraldine Allinson, chairman of the KM Group for 13 years was awarded an OBE for her contribution to local media.
Speaking to KentOnline, Allinson also paid tribute to former colleagues and described the recognition as “humbling”.
She said: “It is very difficult to describe how honoured I feel to receive this recognition. Even now I am close to tears thinking about it – I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.
“Throughout my career I have been very lucky to work with extremely talented people who genuinely care about what they do and the local communities they serve, particularly here in Kent.
“I really hope that all my colleagues, past and present, see that this honour is recognition for the very rewarding and, at times, extremely difficult work we have all carried out together.”
The honours list, delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, came days after the Queen highlighted the value of local media during a letter to mark #JournalismMatters week.
She said: ““The Covid-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated what an important public service the established news media provides, both nationally and regionally. As our world has changed dramatically, having trusted, reliable sources of information, particularly at a time when there are so many sources competing for our attention, is vital.
“The efforts of the news media to support communities throughout the United Kingdom during the pandemic have been invaluable – whether through fundraising, encouraging volunteering, or providing a lifeline for the elderly and vulnerable to the outside world.”
Picture: Ali Machray earlier this year with the Overall Digital Award for the Liverpool Echo as part of the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards for 2019.