Craig Taylor, a senior reporter with the Orcadian, has been named Diageo Journalist of the Year at the annual Highlands and Islands Media Awards.

Craig was the unanimous choice of the judges for his strength of writing across a number of categories. He won the Reporter of the Year title, which comes with the Jim Love Memorial Award, and was also shortlisted for Sports Reporter of the Year.  His prize, which includes £500, of which £300 will be gifted to a charity of his choice, was presented at the 30th annual Highlands and Islands Press Ball in Inverness, organised by Inverness communications and PR company System2.

Hebrides Writer Katie Laing, based in Stornoway, who was shortlisted in three categories, "scooped the prize for Top Story of the Year for her coverage of a David v Goliath windfarm dispute in Lewis, between local crofters and international developers," the awards committee says.

The BBC collected three honours. Eilidh Macleod won the Bòrd na Gàidhlig award for Best Use of Gaelic; Andrew Thomson, was named Feature Writer of the Year; and a joint entry from David Delday and Robbie Fraser, from Radio Orkney, and Jane Moncrieff, from Radio Shetland, won the Sports Reporter of the Year title.

The Inverness Courier was named Newspaper of the Year and one of its reporters, Nicole Webber, was crowned Young Journalist of the Year, collecting the Alex Main Trophy, named after a former Courier editor.

Shetland-based freelance Malcolm Younger was named Photographer of the Year, and the Top Shot of the Year was taken by Inverness freelance photographer Paul Campbell for his dramatic photo of mountain biker Luca Cometti crashing out of the finals of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William.

Inverness Gigs won the award for Best Use of Digital Media and Mallaig-based West Word was named Community Newspaper of the Year.

The former editor of the Norther Scot, Mike Collins, also received the Barron Trophy for lifelong achievement in journalism.

The awards were presented by Keith Miller, Distillation and Maturation Director of Diageo, the principal sponsor of the Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards, held at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.  Other sponsorship this year was provided by HighNet, Chivas Brothers, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the National Union of Journalists and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.  The ball’s charity fundraising will benefit four local organisations: Alzheimer Scotland, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS), Highland Heart Failure Service and The Oxygen Works, created by the MS Therapy Centre

The full list of award winners is -

Best Use of Gaelic
Eilidh Macleod, An Là  

Best Use of Digital Media
Inverness Gigs

Young Journalist of the Year (Alex Main Trophy)
Nicole Webber, Scottish Provincial Press

Sports Reporter of the Year
Jane Moncrieff (Radio Shetland), David Delday and Robbie Fraser (Radio Orkney)

Photographer of the Year
Malcom Younger, freelance, Shetland

Top Shot of the Year 
Paul Campbell, freelance, Inverness

Reporter of the Year (Jim Love Memorial Trophy)
Craig Taylor, Orcadian

Top Story of the Year
Katie Laing, Hebrides Writer

Feature Writer of the Year
Andrew Thomson, BBC

Community Newspaper of the Year
West Word, Mallaig

Newspaper of the Year
Inverness Courier 

Diageo Journalist of the Year
Craig Taylor, Orcadian

Barron Trophy for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism
Mike Collins