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The media combo that produces We Love Stornoway has been praised for ‘cracking local content and national reach’ by award judges.

Stornoway Media Centre, on James Street, houses a stable of news websites, magazines and the monthly newspaper EVENTS, between them covering all kinds of news and events from the Butt of Lewis to Vatersay, as well as the Isle of Skye and other Scottish islands.

And the company’s wide-ranging media products, quality content and extensive reach of stories were enough to convince judges that no-one in the Highlands and Islands is doing better with their use of digital media.

Managing director Fred Silver received the Highlands and Islands Media award for Best Use of Digital Media at the annual press ball in Inverness on Friday evening (7 February).

He is pictured receiving the award from sponsor Diageo’s representative Keith Miller.

In the awards submission Stornoway Media Centre said: “Through the use of our linked websites and of social media, we have developed a responsive news service tailored to a community with very specific experiences. This in turn is leading to growing readership figures and a developing position as the islands’ principal source of news information.”

The claim was supported with examples showing that online readership for stories about the Iolaire centenary commemoration reached 214,342 readers in 2019, while just over 93,000 followers viewed video coverage of the torchlight procession and Iolaire centenary service at Holm on 1 January 2019.

In everyday news coverage, an exclusive story about the unscheduled visit of the Red Arrows to Stornoway airport in October 2019 was read by 3,825 people and a video of their arrival viewed 75,000 times after being shared by the Red Arrows themselves. On the same day, 4,900 people read exclusive news that the animal welfare charity Cats Protection was to withdraw their support from the islands.

Judges for the Highlands and Islands Media Awards said: “The judges were impressed with We Love Stornoway’s cracking local content which has national reach across a range of platforms.

“Strong stories featuring the Iolaire commemoration, the Red Arrows and Cats Protection stood out, while the use of written and video content, together with the use of social media, is a powerful combination which makes a real impact.”

Managing director and editor Fred Silver said: “We have a small but dedicated team who work hard to provide our local community with the kind of news service they deserve. It is gratifying to have our efforts recognised as the best they can be, especially by our peers in the world of news and media.”