Panorama wins award after attack on BBC

By Julie Tomlin and Caitlin Pike

A Panorama programme that was highly critical of the BBC for its
handling of the Andrew Gilligan affair was recognised at this year’s
Royal Television Society Awards.

The home current affairs award was picked up by Panorama journalist
John Ware for Fight to the Death , in which he said the then director
general Greg Dyke and his senior executives “bet the farm on a shaky
foundation” when they supported Gilligan’s allegations about the Iraq
dossier.

The programme was broadcast in the week before Lord Hutton’s report on the death of Dr David Kelly was published.

Ware
dedicated the award to the BBC, paying tribute to its decision to
broadcast such a critical programme without any “roadblocks”.

“I don’t know of any other organisation that would allow us to do this,” he said.

The
award was one of 10 picked up by the BBC last week. Out of the 16 RTS
journalism awards, ITN won four awards, Ireland’s UTV won the national
and regional current affairs award and Sky News won news channel of the
year.

BBC One’s Ten O’Clock News was named news programme of the
year and was, in the view of the judges, “a programme at the top of its
form”. The programme also shared the news event award with Panorama ,
for Hilary Andersson’s reporting on the Darfur crisis in Sudan. Fred
Scott, the cameraman for Andersson’s Darfur reports, was named camera
operator of the year.

Panorama also received the specialist journalism award for Sarah Barclay’s investigation into premature births.

Newsnight shared the innovation prize with Guardian Films for the Salam Pax blogging story.

Helen
Boaden, BBC director of news, said: “This is our best result for years.
In a very tough year for journalism, we are extremely proud that the
BBC has been recognised in this way.

“The comments from the
judges demonstrate that our commitment to high quality, original and
independent journalism of integrity and flair really packed a punch.”

ITN
News won the international news event category for its coverage of the
Beslan school siege, led by Julian Manyon. Channel 4 News’ Lindsey
Hilsum was awarded television journalist of the year and Sir Trevor
McDonald won the RTS lifetime achievement award. ITV News Channel’s
Alastair Stewart won presenter of the year.

Mark Wood, chief
executive of ITN said: “The RTS awards once again recognised the
breadth and power of ITN’s television journalism.

Full list of winners

ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY AWARDS

Young Journalist of the Year

Alex Millar: BBC One and BBC Three

National and Regional Daily News Magazine

Wales Today – The Clywch Report: BBC One Wales

National and Regional Current Affairs

Insight – When Hospitals Kill: UTV

News Event

BBC One – Darfur

News – International

ITV News at 10:30 – The Beslan Siege: ITN for ITV News

News – Home

Newsnight – Al Muhajiroun: BBC Two

Innovation

Salam Pax – GuardianFilms/ Newsnight: BBC Two

Presenter of the Year

Alastair Stewart: ITN for ITV News Channel

Current Affairs – Home

Panorama – A Fight to the Death: BBC One

Current Affairs – International

This World – Access to Evil: BBC Two/October Films

News Programme of the Year

BBC Ten O’Clock News: BBC One

News Channel of the Year

Sky News

Camera Operator of the Year

Fred Scott: BBC One

Specialist Journalism

Sarah Barclay: BBC One

Television Journalist of the Year

Lindsey Hilsum – Channel 4 News: ITN for Channel 4

Judges’ Award

Sir Trevor McDonald OBE

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