No-one deserves accolade more than Evening News legend Swanny - Susan Dalgety

Edinburgh Evening News political editor, Ian Swanson, was presented with his lifetime achievement award at the Scottish press awards by deputy first minister Kate Forbes (Picture: Andy Barr)Edinburgh Evening News political editor, Ian Swanson, was presented with his lifetime achievement award at the Scottish press awards by deputy first minister Kate Forbes (Picture: Andy Barr)
Edinburgh Evening News political editor, Ian Swanson, was presented with his lifetime achievement award at the Scottish press awards by deputy first minister Kate Forbes (Picture: Andy Barr)
Ian Swanson – or Swanny as he is known to a generation of Edinburgh journalists and councillors who have worked with him over the years – is a Capital institution.

As the Evening News political editor, he has covered the goings-on in the Scottish Parliament and in the City Chambers for four decades, digging deep behind government press releases and council papers to find out what is really going in the corridors of power. And last Thursday, his hard work and dedication paid off when he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Press Awards. No-one deserves this accolade more than Ian.

He is the heart and soul of the Edinburgh Evening News, and through his work, a very important person in our city. He also happens to be one of the loveliest people around. A newsroom can be a tough place to work. Every day, reporters are faced with scores of empty pages, and social media accounts which have to be filled with news and features – or content as they say today. It can be quite stressful.

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Tempers fray. People can fall out over something as stupid as an empty coffee cup left on someone else’s desk (sorry!) when the pressure of a looming deadline becomes too much. But not Swanny. No matter how tough a day can get, or how many blank pages are left to fill, he remains calm under pressure, and crucially he helps other people get through the day. He mentors young reporters, and reminds more grizzled ones why they are in the job – to tell people what is really going on in their city.

When he started as a cub reporter, newspapers were still in their heyday and the internet did not exist. The technology may have changed, but Swanny still has the best shorthand in the business, the fattest contacts book and the best nose for news. As Brian Ferguson, one of his former Evening News colleagues, now a Scotsman stalwart, said: “So pleased about this terrific honour for the legendary Swanny! I have often wondered how many journalists out there have benefited from his advice, support and encouragement over the decades. A real inspiration!”