'THE Northern Scot' has won a top British media title.
It has been named the UK Society of Editors' Weekly Newspaper of the Year (circulation under 20,000) at an awards ceremony in London.
The honour comes after being named Weekly Newspaper of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.
In both competitions, judges were particularly impressed by the coverage of the successful campaign to save RAF Lossiemouth.
Editor Mike Collins said: "It is a fantastic double to achieve, and I am immensely proud of our staff's great team effort in delivering a paper that has won the recognition of our industry peers. This is as good as it gets for a weekly newspaper.
"The 'Scot' is very much a community newspaper, and I hope the whole Moray community, and our many readers, advertisers and contributors, share our pride in this."
Also in the running for the UK title were 'The Birmingham Post', 'The Brentwood Gazette', 'The Ulster Herald' and 'The Cumberland and Westmorland Herald'.
The panel of judges praised 'The Northern Scot' for its "strong news agenda". In addition, they said the campaign to save the air base was "well executed and ultimately successful".
Paul Horrocks, chairman of the judges, said: "Whether it is in print, on-line or on social and converged media, journalism which stands up for the people, truly reflects their daily lives and challenges authority, is still thriving – even in these difficult economic times.
"The regional media plays a massive role in our society, and that enormous value sometimes gets overlooked."
Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors, said: "UK newspapers are the best in the world, and the regional and local press plays a huge part in communities across the nation, making a vital contribution to local and national democracy, as well as cultural and economic wellbeing."
To watch video footage from the awards, go to www.societyofeditors.co.uk.
It is the second time 'The Northern Scot' has pulled off a prestigious double. It won the best weekly newspaper in the BT Media Awards in Scotland and the UK 10 years ago.
Last year it was named Newspaper of the Year in the Highlands and Islands Media Awards, and at the Scottish Press Awards beat daily and evening newspapers, including 'The Sun', to the Campaign of the Year title for its coverage of the Save RAF Lossie campaign.
Reporters and photographers have also added to the success in recent years by winning individual awards.