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Caithness News Bulletins February 2005

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Alan Hendry, editor of the Caithness Courier and John O'Groat Journal, has been named Journalist of the Year for the Highlands and Islands.

Alan received his award from the Right Honourable George Reid, MSP, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, at the Highlands and Islands Press Ball which was held at Nairn on Friday 4 February.

Alan received 300 from the sponsors of the awards, Diageo, the world's premium drinks company, to donate to a charity of his choice.  Alan also picked up the award of 100 for being Feature Writer of the Year.

He is the third representative of North of Scotland Newspapers to have picked up the prestigious award - Noel Donaldson and Colin Punler, now Communications Manager at UKAEA at Dounreay, being previous winners.

Gordon Fyfe, Chairman of the Judging Panel, said Alan's outstanding portfolio of features, together with skills in editing popular and campaigning newspapers had won him the top award.

He said: "Alan finds time from his duties as editor of two excellent local newspapers to pen well written and well researched features. His success is deserved reward for many years of providing his local community with a first class news and features service."

The Press Ball raised 3,000 for four charities, namely The Highland Homeless Trust; the Sibling Group (Birnie Child Development Centre, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness; the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre; and the Highland Wheelchair Dancing Club.

His award came as a particular surprise as it was the only one which had not
been announced ahead of the ceremony.

Other winners were:
* Local Newspaper Photographer of the Year: Bob Bruce, Northern Scot;
* Photographer of the Year: Iain Ferguson, The Write Image;
* Young Journalist of the Year: Jane Candlish, Strathspey and Badenoch Herald;
* Sports Writer of the Year: Charles Bannerman, freelance;
* Local Reporter of the Year: Leanne Carter, Northern Scot;
* Reporter of the Year: Lorraine Shearer, Orcadian;
* Community Newspaper of the Year: Rudhach, Point, Lewis;
* Newspaper of the Year: Strathspey and Badenoch Herald and
* Bill Lucas who received the Barron Trophy for lifetime achievement in journalism.