A student has won a top journalism award for a story she wrote for The Falkirk Herald.
Courtney Cameron’s piece, which appeared in the newspaper in November 2012, was about residents in Polmont’s Tolsta Crescent who had been paying the wrong Council Tax for 19 years. They all received a refund after Falkirk Council corrected the banding.
The story was named Scoop of the Year at the Scottish Student Journalism Awards 2013, and was runner-up in the News Story of the Year category.
Courtney picked up the story from a colleague at Asda in Falkirk where she worked part-time.
She investigated further and the article was eventually published while she was with the Falkirk Herald on work experience.
The 20-year-old was presented with her prize at a ceremony at Arta in Glasgow, hosted by investigative journalist Mark Daly with Jackie Bird as guest speaker.
Courtney, who has just finished her third year studying journalism at Glasgow Caledonian said: “Our lecturer told us we were all to enter a piece for the awards, so I entered mine in the news story category. The shortlist for the scoop of the year was made up from the best entries from the other categories.
“The awards themselves were really glamorous and I was lucky to even be shortlisted.
“They announced the news story category first and I was delighted to be runner-up. Then they announced the scoop category straight after.
“I was shocked and, when I went to collect it, I was trying hard not to cry!
“I took my mum Helen to the ceremony with me as my plus one. I wish I had been able to take my dad Iain too, but I was only allowed one person with me so I phoned him straight away. They are both delighted for me.
The award has given former Braes High pupil Courtney a confidence boost before she starts her final year at university in September.
She said: “It’s hard at uni when you’re studying and sitting exams, so something like this really helps!
“It’s all very well doing exams, but little extras like this are what you need. It’s a real boost and has given me the determination to succeed.”
Courtney, who lives in Reddingmuirhead with her parents and sister Lisa (16), received a certificate plus a cash prize to recognise her achievement.