More RTS joy for Tonight team

ITV’s four-year experiment with a peaktime documentary strand was rewarded again when Tonight With Trevor McDonald was named RTS Programme of the Year.

Tonight won the award in 1999 for Martin Bashir’s interview with the Stephen Lawrence murder suspects.

Picking up the award last week, editor James Goldston said he “remembered standing here a few years ago and being booed”.

The programme is currently courting controversy after its Living with Michael Jackson was aired last month.

The award for News Programme of the Year went to BBC2’s Newsnight, but nominated rival Channel 4 pulled one back when Jon Snow won presenter of the year.

BBC’s Peter Taylor was named TV Journalist of the Year, and colleague James Reynolds was named Young journalist of the Year.

Lindsey Hilsum, currently in Baghdad, was named Best Specialist Journalist. She was praised by Channel 4 News editor Jim Gray, who accepted the award on her behalf. “She is the best journalist I have ever worked with,” he said.

Panorama’s investigation into race fixing earned the Current Affairs Home award for the BBC, while Channel 4 walked away with Current Affairs International award for the documentary Avenging Terror, made by Brook Lapping Productions.

The Home News Story award went to Newsnight for its report on replica guns, while CNN won International News Story – its first RTS editorial award – with its scoop on video tapes found in a deserted Al-Qaida building in Afghanistan.

On the regional front, the BBC’s Wales Today won the news gong, and BBC Northern Ireland’s Spotlight was rewarded for current affairs.

Sky News was named News Channel of the Year for the second year running and also won the news event award with its report on the Soham murders.

David Lloyd, Channel 4 head of news and current affairs, received the Judges Award.

lFor the full list of RTS winners see www.pressgazette.co.uk

By Wale Azeez

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