Winners announced for the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2024

Winners announced for the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2024

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Wednesday, 28th February 2024
Secunder Kermani, Network Television Journalist of the Year (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

The winners have been announced for the RTS Television Journalism 2024, in partnership with Wolftech and Dataminr.

The prestigious awards ceremony took place this evening at the London Hilton on Park Lane, hosted by Good Morning Britain’s Susanna Reid.

For 2024, the RTS Special Award was presented to Martin Lewis CBE for his pivotal role in changing an entire genre of journalism as he continues to provide the British public with clear, actionable financial advice, as well as influencing policy and holding banking and utility industries to account. The Outstanding Contribution Award was given to Kirsty Wark, in recognition of her tenure presenting BBC Newsnight and delivering landmark interviews, while providing a formidable breadth of knowledge, mentorship and guidance to others in the industry.

Across the 20 competitive categories, ITV led the evening with six awards, with coverage of the 2023 Nottingham attacks receiving the award for Nations and Regions News, Jonathan Brown for Nations and Regions Reporter of the Year and Daniel Hewitt taking home Specialist Journalist of the Year.

Channel 4 closely followed with four wins including Current Affairs – Home for its Dispatches programme Russell Brand: In Plain Sight. The coveted News Channel of the Year award was presented to Sky News, which was also recognised in two other categories, including the Innovation Award.

Adrian Wells, Chair of the RTS Television Journalism Awards, said: “This has been a year defined by conflict and many RTS award recipients have reported with great insight on the plight of those affected by extreme violence and loss, with a depth of quality from journalists working both on and away from front lines. Their talents have been prodigiously in evidence in the fields of home affairs, political, economic reporting and innovation.” 

See the full list of winners here.

Breaking News

WINNER – Opening shots: The Gaza War Reuters

“Unsurprisingly, the Israel/Gaza conflict dominated the entries in this year’s Breaking News category and the jury debated the approach and style of each entrant in great depth. In the end they felt that one entry stood out from the rest because with ‘typical fearlessness’, it provided broadcasters, not just in the UK, but around the world, with some of the most striking images, from both sides, as the events of October the 7th started to unfold.”


· Turkey-Syria Earthquake Sky News

· Hamas-Israel War - CNN International CNN Worldwide


Camera Operator of the Year

WINNER – Fadi Shana Reuters

The jury wanted to commend the bravery of the camera operators and teams bringing stories from the front lines of conflict zones at considerable personal risk.

“The winner was one of a small number of camera operators trapped at the heart of the story in Gaza. His images didn't just bring the horrors of war to global audiences but also the everyday stories of those trying to live through it.”


· Olivia Prutz Sky News

· Mstyslav Chernov The Associated Press


Current Affairs – Home

WINNER – Russell Brand: In Plain Sight - Dispatches Hardcash Productions for Channel 4

The judges were highly impressed with the standard of this year’s entries. They noted, “there were many outstanding programmes, but through the brilliant use of archive and carefully judged interviews this year’s winner was a painstaking investigation into the alleged abusive activities of a well-known celebrity. It was a brilliantly told story which had real impact.”


· Catching My Rapist - Exposure Bite Films for ITV1

· A Time to Die - Exposure True Vision for ITV1


Current Affairs – International

WINNER – Rescue Mission Gaza - Witness Al Jazeera English

“In a year with such a wealth of international stories, this was a crowded category where the judges viewed over twenty entries. Amongst them were some remarkable films from across the world – many of them demonstrating extraordinary bravery and initiative. It was a difficult choice and the winner was a great example of on the ground, up-close storytelling from the front line.”


· The Grave - Exposure Studio 9 Films for ITV1

· Inside Russia: Traitors & Heroes - Storyville BBC World Service for BBC Four


Emerging Young Talent of the Year

WINNER – Joshua Stokes - Summerland The Forgotten Disaster - Granada Reports ITV News Granada for ITV1

“This was an incredibly competitive field but the winner stood out because of the deep research which went into this story, the resourcefulness with which it was pursued, and the emotional power of the storytelling.”


· Yousef Hammash - Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4

· Ruben Reuter - Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4


Innovation Award

WINNER – Westminster Accounts - Sky News & Tortoise Media

Judges praised the outstanding quality of data work and presentation which was genuinely surprising.They said “it was a real example of public service journalism that opened up an opaque world, was innovative and made it available to everyone.

The judges were impressed by the clever use of technology and it was absolutely vital to democracy.”


· 5G Private Network at the Coronation - BBC News BBC News/BBC R and D/Neutral Wireless for BBC News Channel

· BBC Verify - BBC News BBC News for BBC One, BBC News Channel and BBC social media


Nations and Regions Factual

WINNER – Welsh Rugby Under the Spotlight - Wales Investigates BBC Wales for BBC One Wales

The jurors described the winner as “a textbook example of rigorous investigative journalism. An impressive body of evidence was built up and developed for a powerful programme that had an immediate and lasting impact on a national institution.”


· The Dog Dealers - Disclosure BBC Scotland for BBC One Scotland

· I Spy - Spotlight BBC Northern Ireland for BBC One Northern Ireland


Nations and Regions News

WINNER – The Nottingham Attacks - ITV News Central (East) ITV News Central for ITV1

“This was a hotly contested category with a number of special themed programmes praised by jurors. The winner stood out for the outstanding way that the team dealt with the pressures of a major breaking story, obviously rooted in the local community and covering all the angles.”


· STV News at Six (North) - STV News for STV

· Who Cares For The Carers? - ITV News Meridian ITV News Meridian for ITV1


Nations and Regions Reporter of the Year

WINNER – Jonathan Brown - Knife Crime Investigation - ITV News Calendar ITV Yorkshire for ITV1

“The winning reporter's entry showed how persistence, deep community contacts and thorough journalism could shed light on one of the scourges of our times. The jurors admired the wide range of skills that were demonstrated in a series of reports as well as the impact of the investigations.”


· Gareth Wilkinson - UTV Live UTV

· Antoine Allen - ITV News London ITN/ITV News for ITV1


Network Daily News Programme of the Year

WINNER – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4

For this category, the jury felt that one daily news programme stood out for the distinctive way it reported on stories both in the UK and abroad – particularly its coverage of the Israel-Gaza conflict. With its experienced and respected team of correspondents, and its mission to explain as well as report.


· News at Ten ITN/ITV News for ITV1

· BBC News at Ten BBC News for BBC One


Network Interview of the Year

WINNER – Christiane Amanpour interviews Siamak Namazi CNN Worldwide

“Securing the interview was a coup. The informed and considered questioning, coupled with the production decision to let the interviewee's words speak for themselves, heightened the drama and the impact.”


· Harry: The Interview - Stand alone ITN Productions for ITV1

· BBC's Lucy Williamson interviews Andrew Tate - BBC News BBC News for BBC One


Network Presenter of the Year

WINNER – Susanna Reid - Good Morning Britain ITV Studios for ITV1

“There was much to admire in this category. Laura Kuenssberg's forensic approach to interviews and her ability to secure A list guests for her Sunday politics show on BBC One. Matt Frei who anchored Channel 4 News from Jerusalem and the West Bank for a gruelling 30 days, described by the jury as one of the great broadcasters of our time for his commitment to eyewitness reporting and masterful scripting. Susanna Reid, now into her 20th year as a breakfast TV host, won praise from jurors for her ability to connect with viewers. Unflappable, charismatic, equally at home in the studio or reporting from war zones, she's a charming assassin in the face of politicians who refuse to answer a straight question. “You can't fake that kind of likability” noted one juror.”


· Laura Kuenssberg - Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Laura Kuenssberg: State of Chaos BBC News for BBC One and BBC Two

· Matt Frei - Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4


Network Television Journalist of the Year

WINNER – Secunder Kermani - Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4

The judges thought this journalist’s work was “threaded with empathy while retaining balance in the most challenging of circumstances. This reporter managed to edge out some of the best in our business with the quality of their work.’’


· Paul Brand - ITV News ITN/ITV News for ITV1/ITVX

· Orla Guerin - BBC News BBC News for BBC One


News Channel of the Year

WINNER – Sky News

“Trying to evaluate a year’s output for a 24-hour news channel from a one hour submission makes this a difficult category to judge, but the jury was impressed by the winning news channel for the comprehensive way it covered the main news stories of the year, not just the developments in the Middle East and in Westminster, but also a wide range of other news events, both in the UK and around the world.”


· Al Jazeera English

· BBC News Channel


News Coverage – Home

WINNER – Nowhere to Go: Britain's Homeless Emergency - ITV News ITN/ITV News for ITV1

“The jury were impressed by all three shortlisted entries and felt they represented the importance of investigative journalism and the commitment of broadcast newsrooms to stick with the story. They admired the clarity of the storytelling in the ITV News coverage of the Lucy Letby murders and singled out Channel 4 News for its determination to tell the stories of police failures and the treatment of whistleblowers. Daniel Hewitt's reports and analysis on the growing Homeless crisis for ITV News were moving as well as shocking. Judges were particularly impressed by his sensitive, unflinching journalism as he waited with families being evicted before witnessing their increasingly desperate attempts to find a bed for the night. His reports on this hidden crisis and the reasons for it, have had significant impact - leading to changes in the treatment of private renters.”


· Lucy Letby: Catching a Child Killer - ITV News ITN/ITV News for ITV1/ITVX

· Challenging Police Culture - Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4 News


News Coverage – International

WINNER – War in Ukraine: Hope, Death and Defiance - BBC News BBC News for BBC One

“In a year riven by conflict this broadcaster maintained their commitment to a story which takes resources and the bravery of its journalists. The judges praised the depth, diversity and consistency of their coverage.”


· Myanmar: Hidden War Sky News

· Israel-Gaza War - BBC News BBC News for BBC One and BBC News Channel


On-Demand Journalism

WINNER – Stealing Ukraine's Children: Inside Russia's Camps - VICE News VICE UK - YouTube/VICE News

The judges said “this was a film built upon extraordinary and unique access to a contemporary horror carried on to this day. The story treatment was calm and measured and attempted to hold to account those in absolute power over vulnerable lives.”


· Endometriosis: My Search For A Cure - Off Limits Sky News

· Adrift - The Associated Press


Political Journalist of the Year

WINNER – Beth Rigby, Political Editor Sky News

“From a very strong set of entries Beth Rigby was the stand-out winner. Her work is absolutely box office. She is always exciting to watch and her packaging is excellent, always asking the questions we are all yelling at the telly. She does a great democratic service and is a political editor at the top of her game.”


· Colin Mackay STV News for STV

· Sam Coates, Deputy Political Editor Sky News


Scoop of the Year

WINNER – Russell Brand: In Plain Sight - Dispatches Hardcash Productions for Channel 4

The judges called this the most extraordinary piece of television seen all year and truly shocking. They said exposing celebrities when they're still alive is difficult and it was a massive achievement to get it to air. The interviews with the victims were hugely uncomfortable to watch because of how graphic and intimate they were and the way they were intercut with his comedy was jaw dropping.


· Dr Ravi Jayaram - The Doctor Who Caught a Killer - ITV News ITN/ITV News for ITV1/ITVX

· Baby Formula: A Hidden Crisis Sky News


Specialist Journalist of the Year

WINNER – Daniel Hewitt ITV News ITN/ITV News for ITV1

“In a hugely competitive field this category contained an incredibly strong set of entries, showcasing some of the best reporting talent on our screens. But, after much debate and deliberation, the jury had its winner. They said this was a clear example – time and again – of bringing a story to the audience. A great crafter of television, this journalist was praised for his compelling storytelling, “stunning” scripting and heart-breaking human testimonies. A journalist who earns the trust of those he is talking to – ‘the epitome of Specialist Journalist’.”


· Jason Farrell, Home Editor Sky News

· Nick Martin, People & Politics Correspondent Sky News


RTS Special Award

WINNER – Martin Lewis CBE

“This year’s winner is credited with changing the face of this entire genre of journalism on British television. Through multiple appearances on many different programmes on many different channels and also on his own ground-breaking prime time show, he has provided unique insights and assistance to millions.

The winner has championed the cause of those suffering from the effects of the cost-of-living crisis and saved thousands of consumers something that matters a lot: hard earned cash.

The winner’s journalism is always meticulous, insightful and gives his audience clear and actionable advice. He has also managed to influence government policy and hold the banking and utility industries to account. The winner of this year’s RTS Special Award is Martin Lewis.”


Outstanding Contribution

WINNER – Kirsty Wark

“This final award is for Outstanding Contribution, to recognize work, not just in the last year, but over a sustained period. The criteria says it should value a person who has had several significant achievements during their career. Well, tonight’s winner more than qualifies for that. And, let’s be clear, this is not a retirement award but nevertheless it does mark an end, later in the year, to 30 years presenting one of our crown jewels of British Broadcasting – Newsnight.

One of her early landmark interviews put Mrs Thatcher on the spot over the poll tax, and her popularity - or lack of it - in Scotland, (Mrs Thatcher’s I’m talking about, not hers). Talking of Scotland, she’s always managed to champion reporting in her own country, and be equally at home in Westminster, Cardiff or abroad.

In the Newsnight chair she has seen off 8 Prime Ministers and 10 different Programme Editors. Her colleagues tell us of her boundless enthusiasm and formidable breadth of knowledge, while at the same time being collaborative and nurturing to her younger colleagues, many of whom have benefited from her mentorship and guidance. We know on screen she is unflappable, asks penetrating and tough questions when necessary and acts with empathy and compassion when needed. Overall I’d say this a pretty good CV.

The RTS is delighted to present its outstanding contribution award to Kirsty Wark.”

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The winners have been announced for the RTS Television Journalism 2024, in partnership with Wolftech and Dataminr.