TRIBUTES have been paid to an award-winning journalist who died suddenly.
Joe Watson, 43, was farming editor at The Press and Journal since 1996 and was a respected voice on rural issues in the north-east of Scotland.
He started his career as a news reporter in the Banff area for the paper in 1989. He left in 1994 but returned two years later to take up the farming editor’s position.
Mr Watson was named regional newspaper agricultural editor of the year three times and The Press and Journal’s farming supplement was also awarded for its work under his leadership.
The 43-year-old passed away suddenly yesterday.
Damian Bates, editor-in-chief of The Press and Journal, said: “We’re all absolutely stunned at the news of Joe’s premature passing.
“He was not only a brilliant journalist who travelled all over Scotland, the UK and Europe to cover farming matters, but he was also a great friend to us all and a really important part of The P&J family.
“Joe was a beautiful human being, a gentle giant and a skilled reporter who knew his subject inside and out.
“I can’t believe he’s been taken from us - we’re all heartbroken.”