By Zoe Smith
ITN won a bittersweet victory at this year’s Royal Television Society awards for journalism. It won an unprecedented eight awards in a year which also saw the closure of the ITV News Channel.
The Judges’ Award top prize went to ITV News editor-in-chief David Mannion.
Sir Trevor McDonald said of his colleague: "Doing news these days for a commercial television company is not always the easiest thing. There are constraints.
That makes David’s job exceedingly difficult. He does it with a flair, brilliance, great determination and passion that never ceases to amaze me."
Channel 4 News won a record five awards, including journalist of the year to Jon Snow, the home news award, specialist journalist of the year and the international news award.
Faisal Islam, Channel 4 News’s business correspondent, scooped the prize for young journalist of the year, despite having joined the programme less than two years ago.
Islam said: "It is a testament to the team at Channel 4, which is quite small, that they can take a completely inept, scruffy, Sunday newspaper journalist and, in the space of a year and a half, end up with that award."
Channel 4’s Gary Gibbon, who took over as the programme’s political editor last year, picked up the home news award for its leak of the attorney general’s advice on the legality of the Iraq war.
"Winning the award brought back a very hairy day because we were working right up to the wire trying to get things done and the lawyers weren’t sure that they would even let us refer to, or quote from, the document," said Gibbon.
ITN scooped the prestigious news programme of the year prize for the ITV Evening News. Deborah Turness, the programme’s editor, said: "In the year when television news was tested to its limits with huge stories such as the tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake on the foreign front, and the 7/7 bombings and the De Menezes shooting on the domestic front, there could be no greater honour than to be named programme of the year."
For the first time the RTS jury named BBC News 24 news channel of the year, describing it as "enterprising"
News 24 controller Kevin Bakhurst said: "After a year of huge news stories this is a great tribute to everyone who works on News 24 and the BBC’s teams in the field. BBC News 24 now has a clear lead over Sky in viewing figures and this is a real recognition of the channel’s reputation for authority, speed and range of coverage."
WIN FOR CAPITAL
London’s Capital Radio has won the Independent Radio News Award for news coverage for its work on the 7 July London terrorist attacks. Judges said its entry demonstrated the news team’s ability to respond quickly to a breaking story of national significance.
Paul Lockitt from Key 103 in Manchester was named the UK’s best news reader for the third successive year at the awards. The judges said his bulletins were expertly targeted and creatively written to hook in listeners.
Real Radio Yorkshire won scoop of the year. The station got an exclusive interview with the killer boyfriend of Joanne Nelson. Fiancé Paul Dyson gave an emotional appeal for her return to Real Radio before being arrested.
The news coverage award was won by Beacon Radio for a programme entitled "Caught in the Crossfire" which looked at gun crime in the community.
All the winners received a trophy and a cash prize from presenter, ITV newsreader Katie Derham.
IRN editor Jon Godel said: "The award winners demonstrate that strong, creative journalism is alive and well in commercial radio."
For the full list of award winners see www.pressgazette.co.uk