RTS Television Journalism Awards 2015: The Winners

TVJ 2014

Read about all the winners and nominees of the RTS Television Journalism Awards, held at the Hilton, Park Lane, London on February 18 2015. 

The very best in British television journalism has been honoured at the Royal Television Society Journalism Awards. 

Journalists, broadcasters and agencies competed in 17 categories for a coveted RTS award at a ceremony at the Hilton, in Park Lane, London, hosted by CNN International News Anchor Becky Anderson tonight, 18 February. 

Among the winners was ITV News at Ten’s Mark Austin who picked up the prize for Network Presenter of the Year for the second year running. Channel 4 News’ Matt Frei was named Television Journalist of the Year while Alison Holt from BBC News was awarded Specialist Journalist of the Year. Sky News received the award for News Channel of the Year, ITV News at Ten won Daily News Programme of the Year and Scoop of the Year went to BBC Northern Ireland.

The Judges’ Award, which is given at the discretion of the Jury Chairs, was presented to the Al Jazeera English journalists Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed.

Peter Greste was at the event to pick up the award for himself and on behalf of his two colleagues, who are still on bail in Egypt. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to former ITV News Science and Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty. 


Camera Operator of the Year: Andriy Perun

Broadcaster: Reuters
Todd Baxter
Nik Millard

“The winner’s coverage of the crisis in Ukraine was courageous, powerful, and terrifying. Beautifully framed shots were mixed with scenes of extraordinary drama, filmed deep in the thick of the fighting. This was a close-up and exceptionally brave account of one of the year’s most important stories.”  

Current Affairs – Home

Title: Panorama - Britain's Secret Terror
Production Company: Forcetwenty2vision
Broadcaster: BBC One
Dispatches - Breadline Kids
The Gypsy Matchmaker

“This impeccable forensic investigation uncovered a story never-before-told of a secret military unit operating outside normal rules of engagement on the streets of Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles.  Reporter John Ware and the production team, in a compelling programme, told the story for the first time and persuaded three former MRF men to speak on camera. These unresolved killings of unarmed civilians, as well as known IRA men, still resonate 40 years on and has led to the ordering of new inquests in two of the cases featured.”

Current Affairs – International

Title: Dispatches - Children on the Frontline
Production Company: ITN Productions
Broadcaster: Channel 4
This World - Terror at the Mall
Al Jazeera Investigates - Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787

“The idea of exploring the war in Syria – the conflict of the moment – through the eyes of children was brilliant and the resulting film was extremely moving.”   


Daily News Programme of the Year

Title: ITV News at Ten
Channel 4 News
5 News

“The winning entry was described by the jury as extraordinarily strong. Exemplary foreign coverage, a range of reporters - in turns heavyweight, warm, literate, likeable but above all trustworthy, and always well told.  It was a really outstanding entry.” 

Nations and Regions Current Affairs

Title: Who Murdered Maxine?
Broadcaster: BBC West Midlands
Week In WeekOut - Cardiff to Syria: Journey to Jihad
Spotlight -A Woman Alone With The IRA

“This winning programme brought back the horror of the Birmingham pub bombings from a very different perspective. Beautifully shot and paced, it contained some moving and revealing interviews and detailed one family's determination with finding out who really killed their sister.”

Nations and Regions News

Title: BBC South East Today
ITV News West Country (West)
Calendar -Tour de France Grand Depart

“Original, brave and hard hitting reports from a small news team with great use of technology and social media. Colin Campbell's investigations into cross channel migration and fly tipping were exceptional. Regional news at its very best.”

Network Presenter of the Year: Mark Austin

Title: ITV News at Ten
Broadcaster: ITV
Julie Etchingham - ITV News at Ten
Emily Maitlis - Newsnight

“Our winner is a brilliant presenter from location, where he gets to the heart of a story and becomes involved as a reporter as well as delivering the news in his customary authoritative style. The judges were impressed by his anchoring from the Middle East, and also by his powerful and sensitive interview with Bob Geldof. In the field and in the studio, the winner is second to none and deserves to retain his title!” 

News Channel of the Year

Title: Sky News
BBC News Channel
CNN International

“The judges believed all nominated channels deserved recognition for strong performance in an exceptionally busy and difficult year of news. However, the winning entry stood out for the range of coverage, for hitting some of the year’s big issues early and in-depth, and for the energy and innovation evident in its approach to major events.”

News Coverage – Home

Title: Jihadi Terror
Broadcaster: ITV News
Independence Referendum

“The winning entry took viewers right to the heart of the story and brought home what a domestic story this really is.”

News Coverage – International

Title: Ukraine
Broadcaster: ITV News
Iraq Crisis

“This was journalistic enterprise at its best. Comprehensive, insightful and dramatic.  A commitment to the story resulted in extraordinary moments on camera and more than one scoop.  James Mates in particular was singled out for being constantly ahead of the game in covering the unfolding story of Ukraine, with the result that viewers were taken through events in real time on all sides of the conflict.”

News Technology

Title: A Cloud over Copacabana - BBC's World Cup Data Network
Broadcaster: BBC News
Stand Up Be Counted
Drone Camera - Tacloban

“A hugely impressive technological achievement which made a big difference on screen. The boffins at the BBC created a mesh network –  in effect a private wi-fi cloud – over Copacabana, enabling the corporation to provide its reporters with rock-solid live reporting capability, not only along the entirety of the 4 kilometer beach, but from the top of the Sugar Loaf mountain as well.” 

Regional Presenter of the Year: Harry Gration MBE

Title: BBC Look North
Ian Axton - ITV News West Country
Polly Evans - BBC South East Today

“Our winner is a Yorkshire institution, and in the past year he showed he remains on top form. His emotional involvement with Yorkshire’s biggest moments – notably Le Tour de France – really connects with viewers; but he is also trusted by his audience on major news stories such as the tragic murder of a Leeds schoolteacher. His range and his authority are admirable.” 

Scoop of the Year

Title: Spotlight - A Woman Alone With The IRA
Broadcaster: BBC Northern Ireland
Cliff Richard Raid
Panorama - The Fake Sheikh Exposed

“The Scoop award recognises exclusive, original journalism that makes a wide impact.  The winning entry made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic and has triggered parliamentary and governmental action. At the heart of it was one woman waiving her right to anonymity to do what virtually no republican ever does on camera, speak out against the IRA.”

Specialist Journalist of the Year: Alison Holt

Broadcaster: BBC News
James Mates
Fergus Walsh

“Our winner consistently delivered stories which were agenda-setting, policy shifting and politically important – while treating people at the heart of the stories with patience, knowledge and understanding.”

Television Journalist of the Year: Matt Frei

Broadcaster: Channel 4 News
Lyse Doucet
James Mates

“The work of the Television Journalist of the Year demonstrated the absolute value of being on the scene of major stories as they unfolded, close to the action, but with the composure and eloquence to convey a complete picture to viewers. The winning entry combined remarkable frontline reporting with fine writing and a real sense of humanity, as well as a light touch at just the right moment.” 

The Independent Award

Title: Bruce Lee, King of the Sewers
Production Company: Ecostorm
Broadcaster: Channel 4 News
The Minova Rape Trial
Unreported World: The Invisible People

“The jury thought this film told an absolutely compelling story and exposed a horrible reality. It took many months to set up, and although other journalists have tried before to tell the story of the weird world of the men, women and children living in the sewers of Bucharest, this was a quite remarkable film with brilliant pictures and great storytelling.” 

Young Talent of the Year: Mstyslav Chernov

Broadcaster: APTN
Dan Ashby
Fatima Manji

“His pictures ‘sizzled’ – with a visual narrative which took you right to the heart of the story.”

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lawrence McGinty


“This year the Society honours the work of specialist journalists through one science journalist who has practised his craft for over 40 years. He began in academic publishing, moved to New Scientist Magazine, before venturing into broadcasting.  He has won awards from the broadcasting industry and the science and medical communities. The hallmark of his work has been communicating often complex subjects in a way that will engage and inform audiences.  He retired from full-time work last year but already has been tempted back onto the airwaves.”

Judges’ Award: Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed


RTS Television Journalism Awards Chair Stuart Purvis CBE told the audience: “Over the years the Judges' Award has gone to individuals and sometimes to groups of individuals. I think I am right in saying that this is the first time that the judges have sat down and decided to choose a group of individuals who were, at the time, in prison. Having made that decision our main task was how to let them know that they had won."

"In December 2013 three journalists from Al Jazeera English were arrested and charged with spreading false news and collaborating with the Muslim Brotherhood after the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi. They were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison.  Whatever dispute the Egyptian Government may have had with the Qatari owners of Al Jazeera and its channel aimed at Egypt, the evidence on the terrorist charges against the three Al Jazeera English staff was – in the eyes of independent experts – non-existent."

He added: "Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed. Men who conducted themselves with enormous dignity and courage in the face of continued uncertainty about their fate.  And we also recognise the commitment of the people who have campaigned and continue to campaign for the release of the two on bail. Under the terms of that bail we are unable to present the two men with their Awards but we will when they are finally released."

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