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Four charities are to benefit from the latest edition of the Highlands and Islands Press Ball, which was organised for the eighth successive year by System2.

Some 240 media representatives, politicians and heads of public and private organisations attended the event, held at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.

The ball, and associated Highlands and Islands Media Awards, is the only event that brings together industry colleagues from across a huge and dispersed region. This year it attracted journalists from Shetland to Argyll and from Moray to the Outer Hebrides serving print, broadcast and online media.

Principal sponsors of the evening were Diageo, with additional support from System2, Chivas Brothers, the National Union of JournalistsHighlands and Islands EnterpriseHub North Scotland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The event’s fundraising will benefit four local charities - Birchwood HighlandFriends of Autism HighlandDream, Believe, Achieve Highland; and the Elsie Normington Foundation Haven Centre Appeal - who will share around £3,200 raised on the evening.

This year was the 31st consecutive time the annual ball has been held since it was revived in the 1980s. Last year, the event reached the £100,000 milestone raised for good causes, with all the money staying in the Highlands and Islands.

Moira Kerr, a freelance reporter based in Oban, was named Journalist of the Year, while the Orcadian was crowned Newspaper of the Year and Black Isle-based Chatterbox won Community Newspaper of the Year.

Craig Anderson, the recently retired BBC journalist, won the Barron Trophy for lifelong achievement in journalism and STV reporter Nicola McAlley won a special recognition award for her charity work.

The full list of award winners is -

Best Use of Gaelic - Darren Laing, BBC Alba Best Use of Digital Media - Dave Flanagan, freelance, Orkney Young Journalist of the Year (Alex Main Trophy) - Chris Maclennan, Press and Journal Sports Reporter of the Year - Andy Skinner, Press and Journal Photographer of the Year - Gary Anthony, Scottish Provincial Press Top Shot of the Year - James Gunn, freelance, Caithness Reporter of the Year (Jim Love Memorial Trophy) - Gavin Musgrove, Strathspey and Badenoch Herald Top Story of the Year - Inverness Courier news team Feature Writer of the Year - Moira Kerr, freelance, Oban Community Newspaper of the Year - Chatterbox, Black Isle Newspaper of the Year - Orcadian  Diageo Journalist of the Year - Moira Kerr Barron Trophy for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism - Craig Anderson Special Achievement Award - Nicola McAlley


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