Published on 20th June 2019
The Aberdeenshire Press and Journal and its farming editor Gemma Mackenzie have won the Guild’s 2019 Stuart Seaton Award for Regional Newspaper and Journalist.
Guild member Gemma (above left) was presented with her award by Guild council member Olivia Midgley (above right) at the Royal Highland Show on Thursday, 20 June, 2019.
Gemma has worked at the Press and Journal since October 2013, taking on the editorship in March 2014 following the death of her colleague and former Guild chairman Joe Watson.
A one-woman team, she covers all things agricultural and works closely with Nancy Nicholson at sister title The Courier.
The P&J has daily farming coverage, with one-and-a-half pages dedicated to agriculture from Monday to Friday and a 12-page farming pull-out on a Saturday.
Over the years, Gemma has worked on a number of big stories that have made national headlines.
They include the ongoing IT fiasco over farm support payments, the closure of the Muller milk processing plant in Aberdeen, and the outbreak of BSE on a farm in Aberdeenshire.
Judges praised Gemma's voracious appetite for delivering copious quality content day in day out and her in depth knowledge of the sector – both technical and political – and her enthusiasm to pursue.
Gemma said: “I am absolutely delighted to win this award. Juggling daily and weekly deadlines can sometimes be a challenge so it is great to see all the hard work has paid off.
“We are very lucky in Scotland to have such a strong team of journalists writing about the sector. We all work very closely together and I really value their help and support.”
This award is in memory of former Farmers Guardian editor Stuart Seaton. His daughter Val Chapman is one of the judges.
There is no cash prize, but the much sought after award carries the prestige of peer approval.
[Photo credit: Tim Scrivener]