BBC News 24 beats Sky to RTS title for the first time

BBC News 24 has won the Royal Television Society News Channel of the Year award for the first time.

Sky News has taken the news channel trophy home every year since the award was launched in 2002.

The RTS judges said of News 24: "The panel felt that his was the year in which this winning channel came into its own, making enterprising and authoritative use of all the resources available to it, and providing in-depth coverage across the full breadth of stories."

The award comes at a time when the channel has managed to maintain a steady lead in viewing figures over Sky News, currently attracting 5.5 million viewers a week. The award also follows the announcement that the BBC’s head of television news Peter Horrocks is investing further in the channel, bringing in higher profile journalists to present it. Ten o’ clock news presenter Huw Edwards, special correspondent Ben Brown and BBC London’s Emily Maitlis will front the channel in the evening while Jon Sopel and Kate Silverton will be key presenters during the day. Sky News’ Jeremy Thompson was named the RTS Presenter of the Year. Judges said that Thompson: "has a unique ability to capture the moment, to know which tiny little things really matter and – crucially – he knows when to shut up and let the pictures do the talking".

ITN was particularly successful at this year’s RTS Journalism Awards, winning eight awards including News Event, International and Home News, News Programme of the Year and Specialist Journalism. Channel 4 News won a total of five awards, a record for the programme which was launched 24 years ago. Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow won Television Journalist of the Year and ITV News editor-in-chief David Mannion was awarded the prestigious Judges’ Award. The RTS judges said of Mannion: "The judges felt David has one of the most difficult jobs in the business. He’s responsible for both the national and regional news on his network. He’s on the staff of a company for which he has a passion but which is the subject of speculation about its long-term future. Despite that he gets up each day and leads his troops into battle."

Paying tribute to his colleague, Trevor McDonald said: "Doing the news these days for a commercial television company is not always the easiest things. There are constraints. That makes Dave’s job exceedingly difficult. He does it with flair, brilliance, great determination and with a passion that never seizes to amaze me"

The Nations and Regions Award went to BBC Look North and Ulster Tevelvision. The BBC won the International and Home Current Affairs award for documentary Children of Beslan and Detention Undercover -The Real Story respectively.

 

ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY JOURNALISM AWARDS

Young Journalist of the Year

Faisal Islam – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4

“Consistently good with a refreshing style, this journalist put together an insightful accomplished story in a very short space of time and the jury particularly praised him for his excellent delivery.”

 

Nominees

Catherine Jacob Sky News for Five News

Joe Mather – BBC Newsnight BBC Two

 

Nations and Regions News Coverage

Joanne Nelson Murder Case – BBC Look North BBC Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

“…an involving and detailed look at the background to a callous murder.   The jury said that the combination of both pace and detail made this riveting to watch.”

 

Nominees

Olympics 2012 Decision London Tonight  London Tonight

Winning The Olympics BBC London News BBC London


Nations and Regions Current Affairs

Under the Law –  Insight UTV

“The judges said that this programme was stunning.  Authoritative, meticulously researched and very well scripted. It also had very high production values.” 

 

Nominees

Journey To Hell – Focus ITV Meridian

University Standards – Inside Out BBC South

 

Current Affairs – International

Children of Beslan BBC Current Affairs/HBO for BBC Two

“Filmed against all the odds, this was a remarkable programme that worked on many levels.  Its heart-wrenching testimony provided a record of damage inflicted and a warning of conflict to come.”

 

Nominees

Israel & The Arabs – Elusive Peace – Programme 3 A Brook Lapping Production for BBC Current Affairs for BBC Two

The Hurricane That Shook America BBC Current Affairs for BBC Two



Current Affairs – Home

Detention Undercover The Real Story BBC Current Affairs for BBC One

“This winning entry dealt with a difficult subject matter and the jury were particularly impressed by the exposure of some genuinely shocking aspects of the way this institution treated some of its inmates.” 

 

Nominees

Funny Money BBC Current Affairs for BBC One

Undercover Nurse  – Panorama BBC Current Affairs for BBC One


News Event

Pakistan Earthquake ITN for ITV News

“This winner was praised by the judges for the speed of response and, in particular, the quality of its reporting which managed to provide both context and a real emotional punch.” 

 

Nominees

London Bombings – July 7thITV News Channel ITN for ITV News

Tsunami Sky News

 

News – International

Congo‘s Heart of Darkness Channel 4 News ITN & Free Radical Films for Channel 4

“A brilliant and revelatory piece of journalism ….  It was full of powerful images and was very well written.” 

 

Nominees

Zimbabwe ITV Evening News ITN for ITV News

Tsunami – The Village Sky News


News – Home

Leak of Attorney General Advice on Legality of Iraq War – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4

“This report was a great scoop and a classic piece of television journalism, which had an important impact on the General Election campaign.  In particular, the jury praised the way that the package gave clarity to a complicated issue.” 

 

Nominees

Jean Charles De Menezes Shooting – ITV Evening News ITN for ITV News

Arrest of 21 July Bombers – ITV Evening News ITN for ITV News


Innovation

Message Home Ticker Sky News

“The judges liked this relatively low tech idea that had a real impact on screen. It was first used on the coverage of the Asian Tsunami and then on the London bombings in July.  On both stories it brought reassurance to those viewers concerned that friends and family may have been killed.” 

 

Nominees

Torture – The Guantanamo Guidebook Twenty Twenty for Channel 4

Reuters World News Express Reuters


Specialist Journalism

Jonathan Miller – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4

“The Jury said that the winning journalist was an exceptional foreign correspondent. A genuine specialist, he was passionate about his subjects and told an exceptional story.  2005 was the year of Africa and this winner found a story and made it real for the viewers.” 

 

Nominees

Neil Connery – ITV News ITN for ITV News

Dan Rivers – ITV News ITN for ITV News


Presenter of the Year

Jeremy Thompson Sky News

“The judges said that the winning presenter, has a unique ability to capture the moment, to know which tiny little things really matter and – crucially – he knows when to shut up and let the pictures do the talking.”

 

Nominees

George Alagiah BBC One

David Dimbleby BBC One


News Channel of the Year

BBC News 24 BBC News 24

“The panel felt that this was the year in which this winning channel came into its own, making enterprising and authoritative use of all the resources available to it, and providing in-depth coverage across the full breadth of stories.” 

 

Nominees

ITV News Channel ITN for ITV News

Sky News Sky News


News Programme of the Year

ITV Evening News ITN for ITV News

“Deciding between the three programmes which are effectively the news flagships of their networks was a tough call. All had their merits.  In the end, it was edged by the programme that felt most like a programme over the year. It had consistently good exclusives and a unique style.” 

 

Nominees

BBC Ten O’clock News BBC One

Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4


Camera Operator of the Year

Nik Millard – BBC Ten O’clock News & BBC News Special BBC One

“The jury was impressed with Nik’s ability to use images to tell the whole story, whether it be inside Tamil Tiger territory in Sri Lanka or showing how the Tsunami had killed more than 3000 of the 5000 population in one town. In Afghanistan he turned reporter too, covering the plight of an eight year old girl who had become a landmine victim.”

 

Nominees

Darren Conway – BBC Ten O’clock News BBC One

Cyrus Nhara and "Sara" – ITV News ITN for ITV News


Television Journalist of the Year

Jon Snow – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4

“The jury felt that for Jon this had been an exceptional year even by his incredibly high standards, with outstanding reporting and a significant political scoop marking the high points.   His reports from Hurricane Katrina were thought by the jury to be definitive, and in bringing the British Attorney General’s advice on the Iraq war to light he broke one of the most important stories of the year.” 

 

Nominees

Matt Frei – BBC Ten O’clock News BBC One

John Irvine – ITV News ITN for ITV News


Programme of the Year

Israel & The Arabs – Elusive Peace A Brook Lapping Production for BBC Current Affairs for BBC Two

“This winning series shone new light on one of the most-reported stories of recent decades with exemplary research and extraordinary access to the key players from all sides.”  


Lifetime Achievement

George Carey

“… with truly a lifetime’s work behind him.  George was the founding editor of one of Britain’s most respected news programmes, the co-founder of one of the country’s first independents producing current affairs, the executive producer of series after series of major documentaries and the ideas man behind drama-documentaries on important contemporary issues.  He’s survived corporate mergers, a bout of ill-health and he’s still the Executive Producer of a weekly show on BBC One.”

 

Judges’ Award

David Mannion

“The judges felt David has one of the most difficult jobs in the business. He’s responsible for both the national and regional news on his network.  He’s on the staff of a company for which he has a passion but which is the subject of speculation about its long-term future.  Despite that he gets up each day and leads his troops into battle!”

 

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