RTS Announces Winners For Television Journalism Awards 2011/2012

The Royal Television Society (RTS), Britain’s leading forum for television and related media, has announced the winners for the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2011/2012.

The RTS Television Journalism Awards celebrate creative and excellent journalism in UK news and current affairs, both by organisations broadcasting in the UK and by companies which supply UK news broadcasters.

The Awards Ceremony, hosted by Sky News anchor, Jeremy Thompson, was held on Wednesday 20 February 2013 at the London Hilton, Park Lane, London W1K 1BE.

Full list of the Winners:

Young Journalist of the Year

Ciaran Jenkins – Channel 4 News, ITN for Channel 4 News

“…an impressive and entertaining story-teller who can uncover original stories as well as cover the on-the-day news. His personal touches in the report about unemployment in Merthyr Tydfil turned what could have been an ordinary report into something much more human and memorable.” 


Mark Lowen – Newsgathering, BBC News

Sophy Ridge, Sky News


Nations and Regions Current Affairs and News Event

BBC Scotland Investigates: Rangers – The Men Who Sold The Jerseys, BBC Scotland

“The jury unanimously felt this was a superb piece of investigative reporting, presenting a complex story of financial chicanery, personal ambition and sporting hubris in a compelling and dramatic manner. The story, vividly told by reporter Mark Daly, captured the sense of loss and betrayal felt by Rangers fans and set the news agenda in the Scottish media for weeks.” 


Hillsborough – The Truth At Last, ITV Granada

Spotlight: Sean Quinn's Missing Millions, BBC Northern Ireland


Nations and Regions News Programme

London Tonight, ITN for ITV News

“The jury felt the winning entry captured the essence of community involvement and support for the London Olympics and was local reporting at its best. It also brought an international perspective to a long running story of child torture and witchcraft and showed how the team had built long term relationships with key witnesses who had been in the news over many years.”  


BBC Look North (Yorkshire Edition), BBC Yorkshire

Granada Reports, ITV Granada


Regional Presenter of the Year

Stewart White – BBC Look East, BBC East

“It was the strength of this broadcaster’s tape in last year’s national presenter award that helped persuade the RTS to introduce this new regional category. This submission was no less brilliant, displaying skill, versatility, fluency, warmth and a devastating interviewing technique with a smile from someone who’s been a household name in their region for decades.” 


Lucy Meacock – Granada Reports, ITV Granada and ITV News

Donna Traynor – BBC Newsline, BBC Northern Ireland


News Coverage - International

Syria, BBC News

“The entries for International News Coverage included several examples of extraordinarily dramatic events that had clearly required great skill and exceptional courage to cover. The winning entry displayed outstanding courage in its eye-witness reporting from the front line but also great humanity in its portrayal of ordinary people caught up in the midst of a violent civil war.”


Marikana Mine, South Africa Reuters

The Syrian Uprising, CNN International


News Coverage - Home

Savile, ITN for ITV News

“To remain consistently ahead of the competition in covering the UK’s most impactful news story of the year is a remarkable achievement. At the heart of this entry is Lucy Manning’s relentless journalistic determination as well as her compassion for all concerned. Revelation followed revelation, scoop followed scoop in this exemplary news coverage.” 


The Hillsborough Inquiry, ITN for Channel 4 News

The Manchester Shootings, BBC News


Current Affairs – Home

Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, ITV Studios for ITV1

“This was an outstandingly strong field of really well made impactful current affairs films. [The winner] broke one of the most important stories of the year – which even now shows few signs of receding from public view and which others had shied away from running”


Exposure: Banaz – An Honour Killing, Hardcash Productions/Fuuse for ITV1

Panorama: The Mind Reader – Unlocking My Voice, BBC Current Affairs for BBC One


Current Affairs – International

This World: Inside the Meltdown, Quicksilver Media in association with Mongoose Pictures for BBC and WGBH

“In a year which saw more than its share of conflict around the world and much courageous and commended  reporting from the frontline, this compelling  epic tale stood out for the judges. The courage on display here came from the programme’s contributors. The story started with a natural disaster that in itself grabbed the world’s headlines, and then nearly turned into a global catastrophe.”


Panorama: Homs – Journey Into Hell, BBC Current Affairs for BBC One

People & Power – Pirate Fishing 2, Grain Media for Al Jazeera English


Innovative News

No Go Britain, ITN for Channel 4 News

“The winning entry stood out for the novel way in which it helped to give a new look at one of the year's big stories. It built upon the strength of crowd sourcing and social media and then added the clout of a broadcaster to build up the channel's continued commitment to people with disabilities in the year of the Paralympics.”


50 States: 50 Voices, Sky News

The Olympic Torch Relay, BBC News for BBC


Camera Operator of the Year

Darren Conway (DC) – Newsgathering, BBC News

“The winner’s work in Syria was extraordinary, not just for its stunningly crafted images, but for the fact they were composed and shot in the heat of fierce fighting. He consistently displays bravery, quick-thinking and complete technical mastery.” 


Mani – Channel 4 News, ITN for Channel 4 News

Andy Portch, Sky News


The Independent Award

Horror of Homs, ITN for Channel 4 News

“A moving and supremely honest film made by French photographer “Mani” who captured, over a period of several weeks, the reality of day-to-day life – and death – in the Syrian city of Homs. The Jury was unanimous in the view that Mani’s film pierced through all other coverage from the beleaguered City and defined the Syria conflict for millions of people.” 


Africa Investigates: The Spell of the Albino, Insight News TV for Al Jazeera English

Unreported World: Terror in Sudan, Quicksilver Media for Channel 4


Daily News Programme of the Year

Channel 4 News, ITN for Channel 4 News

“The coverage in the winning entry shone with personality, vigour, robustness and cheekiness – demonstrating a programme with a fresh sense of confidence.” 


BBC News at Ten, BBC News

ITV News at Ten, ITN for ITV News


Scoop of the Year

Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, ITV Studios for ITV1

“Jury members thought the winner was a sensation without ever being sensationalist.  They felt an investigative challenge which had defeated other media organisations  over decades had been achieved with commitment, skill and sensitivity. The programme-makers had given a voice to victims who had always been denied one, with unprecedented impact across many British institutions.  The RTS 'Scoop of the Year’ was the biggest UK news story of 2012 - 'The Other Side of Jimmy Savile' from ITV's Exposure.” 


Al Jazeera Investigates – What Killed Arafat?, Al Jazeera English

Panorama: The Mind Reader – Unlocking My Voice, BBC Current Affairs for BBC One


News Channel of the Year

CNN International

“This was a strong year for the winner. The Jury praised the channel for its distinctive coverage and energetic and vivid reporting. They were ahead of the curve in Pakistan, interviewing Malala, the young woman who was later shot by the Taliban. Their interview with FIFA President Sepp Blatter became a major news story revealing racism in football at the highest level.”


BBC News Channel, BBC News

Sky News


Specialist Journalist of the Year

Jeremy Bowen – Middle East Editor, BBC News

“An award-winning entry from a highly distinguished journalist who has shown total mastery of his brief in bringing to viewers superb story-telling coupled with insightful and nuanced analysis of one of the most turbulent and complex parts  of the world. His excellent work across the region was topped this year by his authoritative and compelling reporting from both sides of the conflict in Syria.” 


Lucy Manning – ITV News, ITN for ITV News

Pedro Pinto, CNN International


Television Journalist of the Year

Alex Thomson – Channel 4 News, ITN for Channel 4 News

“The winner is without question one of the UK's leading correspondents. With a portfolio of coverage from Syria to door stepping Kelvin Mackenzie over Hillsborough, to Glasgow Rangers, he displays great range and versatility with a knack for finding strong angles and compelling stories. He brings real authority and storytelling skills to whatever he covers.”    


Lucy Manning – ITV News, ITN for ITV News

Paul Wood – Newsgathering, BBC News


National Presenter of the Year

Jon Snow – Channel 4 News, ITN for Channel 4 News

“…consistently in a class of his own. Beautiful writing, unequalled versatility and the sense he is as enthusiastic, inquisitive and committed to quality journalism as ever in his long career.” 


Jon Sopel – BBC News Channel, BBC News

Jeremy Thompson, Sky News


Judges’ Award

Susannah Schofield, John Schofield Trust

“The Award this year goes to someone who isn’t even a Journalist – but her contribution to journalism over the last year has been remarkable. At the beginning of [the] ceremony, Ciaran Jenkins was awarded a bursary by the John Schofield Trust to mark his winning of the Young Journalist Award. The Trust has been going since shortly after John’s death, but last year his widow Susie led an overhaul of its main purpose, and launched a pioneering mentoring scheme for young broadcast journalists. For the first time, seasoned and senior practitioners from across the industry agreed to mentor the leading lights of the future. Mentors include top correspondents, anchors, editors and producers. By the end of the second year, there will have been nearly seventy pairings – all designed to give those young journalists a real insight into the top levels of our trade. Here’s a short film, behind the scenes at the Trust.”


Lifetime Achievement

Richard Tait CBE

“The winner of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award has had a strong influence on British broadcast journalism across multiple channels and in many different capacities. He has been editor of BBC Newsnight, of Channel 4 News and Editor in Chief of ITN. He has been a stalwart defender of thoughtful independent journalism throughout his career.  He is, we think, the only person to edit an election night programme for both the BBC and ITV. While at ITN he resolutely stood up for the organisation's journalism when - for example with the Serbian Camps - it came under attack. He recognised early the potential of digital technology - making ITN pioneers in desk top editing among other innovations.  After retiring from editing and management he was called in by Michael Grade to join the BBC Governors as a wise editorial head on the Board of BBC Governors, surviving the arrival of the BBC Trust to become the lead Trustee on editorial issues until last year. He was a member of the Independent Review of Government Communications chaired by Bob Phillis in 2003 and was a member of the Hansard Society's Commission on Parliament in the Public Eye. In addition he has played a leading role with developing journalism safety around the world, has actively worked for media rights with the International Press Institute and has helped guide the next generation of journalists as Professor of Journalism at Cardiff University. 

“Beyond all this, he has been a warm and supportive colleague and mentor to many generations of journalists across all organisations. He has also chaired the RTS Journalism Awards.”


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Notes to editors:

About The Royal Television Society:

The Royal Television Society is Britain’s leading forum for television and related media. Membership is open to everyone with an interest in the medium.

The RTS was granted its Royal title in 1966 and HRH The Prince of Wales became Patron of the Society in 1997. The RTS brings together people to exchange ideas, debate and explore key issues. The RTS Awards are an internationally recognised hallmark for quality and originality.

For over 80 years, the RTS has provided the UK’s main platform for debate about the future of television. Its lectures, events and publications make a substantial contribution to raising standards and developing practice. The RTS organises dinners with influential speakers, lectures, monthly sessions on current issues, and the world famous biennial Cambridge Convention sets the agenda for the future.

Television, the leading UK monthly on television issues and broadcasting policy, is distributed free to members. Separate RTS Awards events cover Programme Making, Television Journalism, Craft and Design, Education, Students and Innovation.

Many of the Society’s dinners and conventions are oversubscribed. Patron and individual membership entitles members to priority applications and advanced booking.

There are 13 regional centres in the UK, and a Republic of Ireland Centre located in Dublin. Each Centre provides a mix of programme, technical, and craft events.

The Society is an educational charity, embracing all aspects of television, including the creative community, broadcasting, equipment manufacture, professional consultancy, journalism, design, research and development, cable, satellite, video and interactivity. The Society relies for its future on the contributions of individual members and corporate Patrons. Individual membership is available from £65.00 per year.

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