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Echo editor Peter Barron awarded MBE in New Year's Honours
10:30pm Monday 30th December 2013 in News
PETER BARRON, editor of The Northern Echo, has been awarded an MBE for services to journalism and community life.
Mr Barron, 51, is the longest serving editor in the papers 144-year history, and has led some of its most notable campaigns, principally the Chance to Live campaign which changed Government policy on heart bypass waiting times.
In 2011, he was appointed the first official ambassador for the Butterwick Children’s Hospice at Stockton in recognition of his fundraising efforts.
A Northern Echo fund-raising campaign helped to build the children’s hospice after the death of Princess Diana and Mr Barron has since personally raised more than £20,000 for the charity through speaking fees and his Dad At Large books.
After starting at the Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, he joined the Echo as a reporter in 1984. He left in 1997 to edit the Hartlepool Mail before returning as Echo editor in 1999.
Peter pictured with his wife, Heather, out shopping in Darlington
Mr Barron, who was born in Saltburn and raised in South Bank, Middlesbrough, said: “I am shocked, more than a little embarrassed, but very proud.
“Newspapers have had a tough year due to the actions of a tiny minority of national journalists and I hope this honour highlights the vital community work carried out by local newspapers nationwide.
“It has been a privilege to work in the regional press for 34 years and I’ve been lucky to work with a brilliant team on a paper with great campaigning traditions. I owe special thanks to my wife, Heather, for all her support.”
The Chance to Live campaign followed the death of Ian Weir, 38, a friend of Mr Barron and a Northern Echo photographer. Prime Minister Tony Blair acknowledged the campaign was the catalyst for changing Government policy on coronary care.
Mr Barron is a board member of the Future Sport charity, the National Council for the Training of Journalists, Darlington Partnership and Darlington Cares, and a governor of the Tony Blair Sports Foundation. He is also President of Darlington Operatic Society, and serves on the advisory panel of Darlington Football Club. Last year, he was made a Deputy Lieutenant of County Durham.
The father-of-four has been North-East Journalist of the Year and UK Columnist of the Year, and recently became a children’s author.
Peter Barron receives his Deputy Lord-Lieutenant certificate from former Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham Sir Paul Nicholson
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