Prizes for Today and John Humphrys as BBC sweeps up journalism prizes at the Sony Radio Academy Awards


The BBC won most of the journalism prizes at last night’s Sony Radio Academy Awards.

The Today Programme was named overall breakfast show of the year. And presenter John Humphrys also won the radio journalism of the year prize.

Humphrys, 69, agreed a nine-month extension to his BBC contract last month.

The judges said of Today:

No one who heard John Humphrys interviewing George Entwistle could be left with any doubt that they had listened to something momentous occurring and, sure enough, the director-general of the BBC stepped down later that same evening. But The Today Programme is so much more than one interview or one presenter. The judges were rocked by the ”hidden hunger” interview with a well-spoken British mother who had not eaten for five days, wooed by Lynne Truss’s eloquent review of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and won over by sparkling reports from around the globe. In a post-Leveson Inquiry world, The Today Programme reminds us all why freedom of speech and quality journalism are worth fighting for."

On John Humphrys, the judges said:

Whether he's in the studio grilling a Cabinet Minister or overseas on an assignment, his intelligence, rigour and refusal to be fobbed off, mark him out as an outstanding broadcaster and his interview with the former BBC Director General George Entwistle was one of the THE news events of 2012."

The best speech programme was Witness on the BBC World Service presented by Robin Lustig. The judges said: "This entry contained compellingly authentic personal stories set against historical events." 

News and current affairs programme of the year was Newsbeat on Raduio 1: “Real investigative jouranlis, which is well tailored with audience reaction.”

Best coverage of a live event went to BBC Radio 5 live for London 2012 and speech radio broadcaster of the year went to Eddie Mair of PM on Radio 4. The judges said: 

This broadcaster has intelligence, spontaneity and a razor sharp wit.  He navigates stories with authority and command, adding value at every turn.  The entry is a masterclass in how to interview, showing great tenacity and a forensic approach to questioning, but also humanity.  

Full list of winners for the Sony Radio Acadamy Awards 2013 available here.


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