Gold award for Central News series

ITV current affairs programme Central News (East) has won a prestigious award at a US television festival, writes Sarah Boden.

Hard-hitting reports on heroin abuse in Nottinghamshire scooped the Gold World Medal at the 2004 Television Programming and Promotion Awards held in New York. The awards attract about 14,000 entries from 84 countries every year.

A specialist news investigation unit, set up by editor Mike Blair 18 months ago, compiled the four-part series. The research team included Ed Collard, Alan Thompson and Gary Newby. The reporters were Kevin Ashford and Bharat Patel.

Blair said: “These reports were both shocking and emotionally charged. They showed the human face of the addicts and the true cost of what they’re doing in terms of crime and the lives destroyed in one small Midlands town.

“It takes real resources to produce current affairs that has impact and I’m delighted that it’s happening in regional television and on ITV.

“We’re pleased to win such a prestigious award and that the reports are also used in local schools to show kids what drugs really do.”

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