RTS Television Journalism Awards 2011
The Royal Television Society (RTS), Britain’s leading forum for television and related media, announced the winners of the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2009/2010, at a ceremony held last night in London. The evening was hosted by Channel 4 newsreader, Krishnan Guru-Murthy.
The RTS Television Journalism Awards celebrate creativity and excellence in journalism in UK news and current affairs, both by organisations broadcasting in the UK and by companies which supply UK news broadcasters.
The BBC and ITV picked up four awards each on the night. ITV News at Ten picked up News Programme of the Year – the judges said ‘it’s the programme which consistently gets Britain right when deciding the stories which appeal to audiences.’ The channel also claimed the award for Nations and Regions News Programme for ITV Border’s The Cumbria Shootings – Day 1 and the News Coverage (International) prize for ITN’s reporting of the Haiti Earthquake for ITV News. The programme’s Rohit Kachroo was also named Young Journalist of the Year – the judges said, ‘the winner would shine out even if they were pitched against journalists twice their age’.
BBC Northern Ireland collected both the Nations and Regions Current Affairs and News Event and Scoop of the Year prizes for Spotlight: The Iris Robinson Investigation, while Films of Record and BBC Current Affairs’ Panorama: Kids in Care was given the award for Current Affairs (Home). The broadcaster also scooped the Current Affairs (International) award for The Wounded Platoon, produced by Moongoose Pictures for WGBH/BBC2.
Sky News was again awarded News Channel of the Year, beating off fierce competition from Al Jazeera English and BBC News – the judges said ‘(Sky News) is bold and brave and has shown a new and exciting commitment to foreign coverage. It is still the channel that you turn to for breaking news’. Alex Crawford also succeeded in winning the Television Journalist of the Year award for a third time. The judges said she ‘showed complete mastery of the reporter’s art – tremendous enterprise, polished writing and great screen presence, together with remarkable personal courage and the ability to work under sustained pressure in dangerous places’. The channel was also honoured in the News Coverage (Home) category for its Student Protest report.
The award for Presenter of the Year went to Channel 4 newsreader, Jon Snow. ‘Extraordinary’, ‘fantastic’ and ‘terrific’ were just some of the Judges’ comments on this year’s winner whose scripts they said are ‘beautifully written and powerfully observed’.
The prize for Innovative News was collected by CNN International for its World Cup Twitter Buzz Data Visualisation, while Camera Operator of the Year was given to Raul Gallego Abellan of Associated Press Television News.
The Independent Award, launched last year, went to Inigo Gilmore for the Channel 4 News report Baby Landina, and Gary Gibbon collected the Specialist Journalist award for his work at ITN for Channel 4 News.
The Judges’ Award went to the BBC, ITV and Sky negotiating teams for the Prime Ministerial Debates – the judges said, ‘Political and Broadcasting history was made in the UK in 2010 with the first ever Prime Ministerial Debates in the run-up to last May’s General Election. It was a genuinely historic agreement and in most peoples’ eyes the debates more than lived up to their billing’.
The Lifetime Achievement award was given to David Dimbleby – the judges said, ‘this award goes to a giant of television journalism. The Judges believe it is fitting to acknowledge his outstanding contribution this year which – remarkably – is his 50th working for the BBC’.
Full list of The Winners:
Young Journalist of the Year
Rohit Kachroo – ITV News ITN for ITV News
“The winner would shine out even if they were pitched against journalists twice their age. The writing is evocative without being clichéd and they were comfortable and authoritative in front of the camera”.
Kris Jepson – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News
Katie Stallard Sky News
Nations and Regions News Programme
The Cumbria Shootings – Day 1 ITV Border
“A real and raw expression of shock but with new information. A remarkable achievement”.
BBC Look East
UTV Live Tonight: Saville Report UTV
Nations and Regions Current Affairs and News Event
Spotlight: The Iris Robinson Investigation BBC Northern Ireland
“… a brilliant investigation which not only had major political ramifications in its own nation but became an important story throughout the UK and internationally”.
The Cumbria Shootings – Day 2 ITV Border
Week In Week Out: University Challenged BBC Wales
News Coverage – Home
Student Protest Sky News
“[This] winning entry had everything. Outstanding coverage of an unfolding event which combined on-the-ground front line access with intelligent use of built elements. …an exceptional piece of rolling news coverage – quick and comprehensive”.
The Hunt For Raoul Moat ITN for Channel 4 News
The Cumbria Murders ITN for ITV News
Current Affairs – Home
Panorama: Kids in Care Films of Record/BBC Current Affairs for BBC One
“An extraordinary documentary insight into the complex issues surrounding children in care in Coventry. This programme told its story in a way that stopped you leaving it and the emotional impact stayed with you long after you had finished watching it – said the jury”.
Dispatches: Politicians For Hire Vera Productions for Channel 4
Five Days That Changed Britain BBC Current Affairs for BBC Two
Current Affairs - International
The Wounded Platoon Mongoose Pictures for WGBH/BBC Two
“An excellent piece of television journalism - the producers were prepared to take the time, energy and budget to see the story through”.
Libya: The Stolen Children Sky News
Secret Iraq BBC Current Affairs/Quicksilver Media for BBC Two
News Coverage – International
Haiti Earthquake ITN for ITV News
“An outstanding compilation with a comprehensive range of stories that reflected a news operation at the top of its game. The reporting by both Bill Neely and John Irvine was highly praised for scripting that added without dominating the narrative”.
Chilean Miners Rescue ITN for Channel 4 News
Interview with the Chandlers ITN for Channel 4 News
Scoop of the Year
Spotlight: The Iris Robinson Investigation BBC Northern Ireland
“…a classic piece of investigative journalism, producing exclusives within exclusives in a programme which rocked the political establishment of Northern Ireland”.
Dispatches: Politicians for Hire Vera Productions for Channel 4
The Raoul Moat Tapes ITV Tyne Tees
Presenter of the Year
Jon Snow – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News
“Extraordinary’, ‘fantastic’, ‘terrific’ were just some of the Judges’ comments on this year’s winner whose scripts they said are beautifully written and powerfully observed”.
Anna Botting Sky News
David Dimbleby – BBC News for BBC
World Cup Twitter Buzz Data Visualisation CNN International
“A standout entry in terms of engaging viewers online, the winner demonstrated an innovative way of illustrating trending, and extending the news story”.
The BBC News Live Page BBC News for BBC
Instant Polling ITN for ITV News
The Independent Award
Baby Landina – Inigo Gilmore Channel 4 News
“[Inigo Gilmore] set off by himself for Haiti at short notice, without a commission and without any real idea of what he might get. He came across a story which could not be wrapped up in a short time-scale, a story which was complex and which needed a great deal of careful handling and persistence to get to the truth”.
Tamiflu Investigation Empirica Films for Channel 4 News
Deadlock in Afghanistan: It's Taken A Year To Move 20Km
Guardian Films for www.guardian.co.uk
Camera Operator of the Year
Raul Gallego Abellan Associated Press Television News
“Brilliant and outstanding said the Judges. [Raul’s] work was full of incredibly strong images and showed great imagination and technique across the entire range of his portfolio. His shots were beautifully composed and his use of light and reflections were well thought through and effective”.
Dai Baker – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News
Dave Harman – ITN for ITV News and ITVs Tonight Programme
News Programme of the Year
ITV News At Ten ITN for ITV News
“…outstanding use of picture power, coupled with crisp, strong writing. In the words of one judge, it’s the programme which consistently ‘gets Britain right’ when deciding the stories which appeal to audiences”.
Channel 4 News (19:00 Edition) ITN for Channel 4 News
Five News Sky News Production for Channel 5
News Channel of the Year
“A vintage year for our 24 hour news channels with every entrant in this category of outstanding, range, depth and quality. [Sky News] is bold and brave and has shown a new and exciting commitment to foreign coverage. It is still the channel that you turn to for breaking news”.
BBC News Channel BBC News for BBC News Channel
Al Jazeera English
Gary Gibbon – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News
“[Gary Gibbon] has had a stellar year, generating exclusive content in all kinds of ways. He writes beautifully and his humour and passion for his subject shines through an understated style”.
Tom Bradby – ITV News ITN for ITV News
Mark Kleinman Sky News
Television Journalist of the Year
Alex Crawford Sky News
“The judging panel was unanimous that this year's entries were among the very strongest that anyone could remember. [Alex] showed complete mastery of the reporter's art - tremendous enterprise, polished writing and great screen presence, together with remarkable personal courage and the ability to work under sustained pressure in dangerous places”.
Jonathan Miller – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News
Bill Neely – ITV News ITN for ITV News
BBC, ITV and Sky Negotiating Teams for the Prime Ministerial Debates
“Political and Broadcasting history was made in the UK in 2010 with the first ever Prime Ministerial Debates in the run-up to last May's General Election.
It had been a long time coming. As long ago as 1964 Harold Wilson challenged Sir Alec Douglas Home to a televised debate. The Conservative Prime Minister dismissed the idea as a 'Top of the Pops Contest'. Wilson won anyway and, surprise surprise, went off the idea when he got to Number 10 himself. Many subsequent attempts by the broadcasters to revive the idea had fallen by the wayside.
Last year, however, it finally became the proverbial idea whose time had come. The politicians, with greater or lesser degrees of enthusiasm, at least agreed to talk, and the parties and broadcasters rolled up their sleeves and got round a table.
The negotiations took months but by March 2010 they'd reached agreement on 76 separate rules about how the debates would take place, one each produced by ITV, Sky and the BBC. It was a genuinely historic agreement and in most peoples eyes the debates more than lived up to their billing”.
“This Award goes to a giant of television journalism. The Judges believe it is fitting to acknowledge his outstanding contribution this year which – remarkably – is his 50th working for the BBC.
He started in 1961 as a freelance news reporter based in Bristol. The next year he moved to National news, before joining the team on 24 Hours, where, in 1971, he presented Yesterday’s Men. His interview with Harold Wilson about the profits from his memoirs would lead to a furious row between Wilson, the BBC and the presenter himself.
In 1974, he took over as presenter of Panorama, and was soon viewed as the embodiment of the best of the BBC, a symbol of fairness, impartiality and authority. He interviewed Prime Ministers, Presidents, despots and dictators, and won awards for international series such as The White Tribe of Africa, An Ocean Apart and Rebellion! He became the “voice of the nation” for major events such as Remembrance Sunday from the Cenotaph. Memorably he led the coverage of the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, and of The Queen Mother in 2002. And in the last couple of years, he’s extended his range and brought millions of viewers to series on art, architecture and history.
In the election campaign of 2010, the BBC turned to him to present its live 90-minute Prime Ministerial debate. Half-an-hour later, he was back on BBC One, chairing a live edition of Question Time, the programme he has presided over for 17 years and turned into a national institution.
Election 2010 was his eighth UK election as Presenter for the BBC. This time he was on air – live – for EIGHTEEN hours. And he was also there for the next five nights, presenting live BBC One coverage of negotiations that led to the creation of the Coalition Government”.
“To me, he is the Election”, said one judge. “He owns it”. One newspaper simply calls him the “Ringmaster of our democracy”.