Associate editor Tom Ballantyne named inaugural lifetime achievement winner at 2020 Aerospace Media Awards ASIA
Tom Ballantyne, associate editor and chief correspondent of the Orient Aviation Media Group, who has a career spanning 45 years of international journalism, received the inaugural 2020 Aerospace Media ASIA Lifetime Achievement Award at a presentation dinner in Singapore last month. Read More »
Born in Edinburgh in 1947, Tom’s first job in the newspaper business was as a copy boy at the Scottish Daily Mail. Later, as a young journalist, he honed his craft at several Scottish publications before he decided to head for Africa and Australia.
In the early 1970s, he worked as a war correspondent for the Argus Africa News Service (AANS), reporting from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi and the territories of Angola and Mozambique during that turbulent period in African history.
In 1975, he accepted an offer from one of Australia’s premier media groups, the Sydney Morning Herald, where he spent the next 18 years covering issues from industrial relations and crime to politics and defence.
After three years as the newspaper’s chief of staff, in charge of 300 journalists, he was appointed aviation editor in 1989. In his new role, he authored Breakfast in Bali, a humorous travel tale Supper at the Savoy, A Year of Good Weekends and co-authored another humorous travel book, Passengers Who Make Your Flight Hell! The Lighter Side of Flying.
Building a reputation as a specialist writer on international aviation, he resigned from the Herald in 1994, working as Asia correspondent for London-based Airline Business magazine before his appointment as chief correspondent at Orient Aviation.
Tom is a regular contributor to aviation news on television and radio in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and the UK, including BBC World, AI Jazeera and CNN, and is a frequent moderator at aviation conferences.
He won the prestigious GE Aircraft Engines Award for the Best Air Transport Submission at the Royal Aerospace Society’s Journalist of the Year Awards in London in 1998. Two years later, he was a double winner at the Australian National Aviation Press Club annual awards, where he was named the country’s Aviation Writer of the Year as well as the author of the Best Aviation Feature Story of the Year. He has since won the latter award another five times.
Said Orient Aviation Media Group publisher and editor-in-chief, Christine McGee: “The best thing about Tom, apart from the fact he can write 3,000 words faster than anyone I have met, is he is such a lovely guy. We are so fortunate to have a person of his knowledge, skill and team spirit heading our editorial team.”