The winners of the 41st Scottish Press Awards have been revealed, with the Scottish Mail on Sunday scooping the Newspaper of the Year title.
Director of the Scottish Newspaper Society, John McLellan told the SoE he hopes to use the awards to boost the campaign for Press support during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Scottish Mail on Sunday won the prestigious title for its investigation into the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The paper revealed how contamination in the new hospital’s site in Edinburgh delayed the opening of a specialist Sick Children’s Hospital which now lies empty during the crisis.
The judges said the paper’s work was ‘exemplary public service journalism, and the repercussions are being felt right now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.’
John McLellan added: “The awards show how important news publishing is to Scotland, locally or nationally; recognising and celebrating the good, exposing the bad, recording achievement for posterity, reflecting life in our communities, linking people and businesses. Without the steady source of trusted information our journalists provide, little of this would be possible.
“Be it on mobile, laptop, desktop or print, our titles reach more people than ever before, and much more quickly; the role Scottish journalists play was vital before, is vital now in the midst of the greatest crisis anyone has ever experienced, and will be even more vital in the recovery to come.”
A lifetime achievement award was awarded to recently retired Ian McCormack, editor of the West Highland Free Press, as his 44 years as editor of the independent title was described by SNS director as a ‘truly remarkable achievement’. The SoE revealed last week that the only employee-owned newspaper was to cease publication until June 5 due to the pandemic.
Other big winners included The Sunday Post scooping the Campaign of the Year category with its ‘Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail’, and the Fife Free Press for Weekly Newspaper of the Year as “a paper which really reflects the community it serves because it informs the readers but stands up for them too.”
The Sunday Mail’s news reporter and investigative journalist Norman Silvester was awarded both the Reporter of the Year Award and Journalist at the Year prizes for his investigation into the death of prisoner Allan Marshall at Saughton Prison.
Find out more about the winners here.