Willie Urquhart, photographer with the West Highland Free Press, has been named Journalist of the Year for the Highlands and Islands. Willie received his award from Fergus Ewing, Scottish Community Safety Minister, at the Highlands and Islands Press Ball which was held at Nairn on Friday (5 February).
Willie won £500 from the sponsors of the awards, Diageo, the world's premium drinks company, £300 of which will be donated to a charity of his choice. He also picked up the photographer of the year award.
Gordon Fyfe, Chairman of the Judging Panel, said: “Over a number of years, Willie has produced a consistently high standard of photographs. Again this year, he won the photographer of the year award with a superb portfolio. He is a very worthy winner of the top prize in our Media Awards.”
The Press Ball raised £2,650, which will go to Health and Happiness in the Highlands, CHIP (Children in the Highlands Information Point), Highlands and Islands Kidney Patients' Association and Riding for the Disabled
The Community Newspaper of the Year, Am Paipear from Benbecula, donated £100 of their prize money to the gardening project for older people run by Uist Council for Voluntary Organisations, while Orkney Today, winners of the Newspaper of the Year, are donating their £500 prize to CLAN, a cancer charity on Orkney.