Paul Breen, the former editor of the award-winning Highland News Group, is to receive this year’s Barron Trophy, which recognises lifetime achievement in journalism in the Highlands and Islands.
Paul, who has worked in regional and local newspapers in the North of Scotland for more than 40 years, will be presented with the award at the annual Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards, being held at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, on Friday 5 February.
Paul began his career as a trainee reporter with the Northern Scot in Elgin in 1974. Four years later, he moved to the Press and Journal and worked for 12 years in its Inverness office, covering many of the big stories of the time.
In 1990, he joined the Inverness Courier as a senior sub-editor before moving to the Highland News Group in 2002. For the past nine years he was group editor, being in charge of the North Star and Lochaber News as well as the Highland News.
During his time as group editor, the Highland News has won the title of Scottish Weekly Newspaper of the Year and been short-listed for this award in each of the last six years. The Highland News has also won the Newspaper of the Year for the Highlands and Islands and been short-listed on many occasions.
Gordon Fyfe, chairman of the Highlands and Islands Media Awards judging panel, said: “I had the pleasure of working beside Paul for 12 years and can testify to the fearless nature of his style in delivering balanced, accurate and well researched stories.
“He has served the Highlands tremendously well and is a worthy winner of this prestigious award.”
Eilidh Davies, chief reporter of the Highland News and Highlands and Islands Journalist of the Year in 2014, added: “Paul kept the Highland News Group entertaining and informative with a hard edge for news.
“He also ensured a grass-roots link between the papers and the local communities which produced a variety of great local stories about local people.”