RTS Television Journalism Awards 2019 sponsored by GuestBooker

Anja Popp (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, 27 February, 2019

rts_television_journalism_awards_2019_highlights

The winners of the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2019, sponsored by GuestBooker, have been announced.

Newsreader and television presenter Mary Nightingale presented the awards ceremony, which took place at the London Hilton on Park Lane.

The awards celebrate talent across 20 categories in total, and this year Channel 4 led the way with eight wins spanning across both news and current affairs, followed by the BBC with five wins overall. The Oustanding Achievement Award was presented to Robin Elias, who this year is retiring after 38 years at ITN, starting as a copy taster on ITV News and ending up as acting editor. Robin edited News at 10 throughout the nineties with Trevor McDonald at the helm, including coverage of the death of Princess Diana and the 9/11 terror attack.

 

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Winners

Breaking News: Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe Steps Down

Title: CNN International
Nominees:
Cabinet Brexit Deal - Sky News
Zimbabwe - BBC News Channel

Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe Steps Down is a model of how to cover an unpredictable breaking news story - from the heart of the action. It was a journalistic and technical triumph that caught the excitement of the moment but kept a cool head and ensured that tough questions about the future were asked as well.

Camera Operator of the Year: Brice Lainé

Title: CNN International
Nominees:
Darren Conway (DC) - BBC News
Jack Garland - Newsnight

Lainé’s work is authentic and brilliant with his portfolio showing a great range of stories. In an excellent field, his work stood out for being shot through with humanity. His camerawork in the Antarctic was stunning and brave.

Current Affairs – Home: The Fires That Foretold Grenfell

Current Affairs – Home: The Fires That Foretold Grenfell

Title: Amos Pictures BBC Current Affairs
Broadcaster: BBC Two
Nominees:
Massacre at Ballymurphy - Awen Media/Dartmouth Films/The Outsider Movie Company
Exposure - Prisons Uncovered: Out of Control? - Clover Films

The Fires That Foretold Grenfell combined terrific archive and first-person testimony to deliver a damning verdict on the causes of the Grenfell tragedy. Great research enabled the programme to be built around heart-breaking interviews with people who had lost loved ones in previous conflagrations. Despite this emotional content, the analysis never lost its clarity of purpose: to uncover the causes of fires such as the one that engulfed Grenfell Tower. The result was a programme of importance and revelation.

Current Affairs – International: Dispatches - Myanmar’s Killing Fields

Current Affairs – International: Dispatches - Myanmar’s Killing Fields

Title: Evan Williams Productions/Mongoose Productions
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Nominees:
This World - Japan's Secret Shame - True Vision Productions
BBC Africa Eye - Sweet Sweet Codeine - BBC World Service

Dispatches - Myanmar’s Killing Fields is a remarkable piece of evidence-gathering with a great combination of reportage and citizen journalism.  It was a compelling, forensic piece of film making with methodical reporting and raw testimony, making for riveting viewing. 

Daily News Programme of the Year: Channel 4 News

Title: ITN
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Nominees:
ITV News at Ten - ITN
Newsnight - BBC Two

Channel 4 News is the programme which the jury felt demonstrated the greatest journalistic excellence throughout the year, with its ground-breaking investigations, high impact journalism at home and abroad, and powerful interviews.

Interview of the Year: Malaysia: Najib Speaks – 101 East Al Jazeera English

Interview of the Year: Malaysia: Najib Speaks – 101 East

Title: Al Jazeera English
Nominees:
Channel 4 News - Max Mosley - ITN
ITV News - Sir Cliff Richard - ITN

All the nominees were great examples of the interviewer’s craft. But one interview stood out for its courage, tenacity and sheer unadulterated watchability - Malaysia: Najib Speaks. Although the story focused on an issue few would have known about prior to the interview, this did not detract from the viewer’s ability to understand the jaw-dropping venality of the interviewee.  The interviewer’s forensic approach was compelling, her knowledge formidable and her ability to combine persistence with grace quite extraordinary.

Nations and Regions Current Affairs: Disclosure - Suffer the Children

Title: BBC Scotland
Broadcaster: BBC One Scotland
Nominees:
Spotlight - Brexit, Dark Money & the DUP - BBC Northern Ireland
Wales Investigates - Gangs, Murder & Teenage Drug Runners - BBC Wales

This year’s award goes to a standout investigation - Disclosure - Suffer the Children.  It is a very strong piece of work, with a surprising level of access, that is both shocking and challenging.  The testimonies of the victims were harrowing and astonishingly raw and the jury watched their stories unfold with a growing feeling of horror, but also praised the sensitivity shown by the programme makers in dealing with the victims, and the shame and pain they have lived with.   

Nations and Regions News: ITV News Central - Leicester Helicopter Crash - A City In Mourning

Nations and Regions News: ITV News Central - Leicester Helicopter Crash - A City In Mourning

Title: ITV Central
Broadcaster: ITV
Nominees:
ITV News Meridian - Gosport War Memorial Hospital - ITV Meridian
ITV London News - Grenfell one year on - ITN

This was an exceptionally strong field - all three nominations focused on the aftermath of appalling events and all three demonstrated skilfully what a regional television station should be doing, being at the beating heart of a story.  ITV News Central’s Leicester Helicopter Crash - A City In Mourning stood out for including some of the best writing we’ve judged, the tone of the presentation, for being well paced and edited, right down to the closing words.  It was moving, captured the sense of loss in the city and brought goosebumps to some of the jury

Nations and Regions Presenter of the Year - Nina Hossain - ITV London News

Nations and Regions Presenter of the Year: Nina Hossain - ITV London News

Title: ITN
Broadcaster: ITV
Nominees:
Lucy Meacock - Granada Reports - ITV Granada
Roger Johnson - BBC North West Tonight - BBC North West

This category contained three very engaging presenters – and choosing a single winner was no easy task for the jury. Nina Hossain demonstrated a compelling on-screen presence with so much energy, whether in the studio or on location, who succeeded every time in getting the best out of people. Her interviews are challenging, insightful and probing. She projects authority, sensitivity and charm as well as an outstanding ability to connect with the audience.

Emily Maitlis – Network Presenter of the Year

Network Presenter of the Year: Emily Maitlis

Title: Newsnight
Broadcaster: BBC Two
Nominees:
Krishnan Guru-Murthy - Channel 4 News
Victoria Derbyshire - The Victoria Derbyshire Programme

The judges agreed Emily Maitlis was a stunning entry. Maitlis uses a vast and deep knowledge to conduct persistent, forensic interrogations on both sides of the Atlantic, exhibiting remarkable authority and self-possession on air. She has led the revival of her programme’s fortunes – bagging big name interviews and always adding value. She has, said the judges, even made it OK for an interviewer to be furious with an interviewee.

News Channel of the Year - Sky News

News Channel of the Year: Sky News

Nominees:
BBC News Channel
CNN International

The judges were unanimous in their decision in this category. Sky News demonstrated its trademark excellence in breaking and continuous news, but also showed admirable strength in investigations, exclusives and special projects.

News Coverage – Home: Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks - Channel 4 News

News Coverage – Home: Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks

Title: Channel 4 News
Production Company: ITN
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Nominees:
Out in the Cold - Channel 4 News
Violent Britain - ITV News

Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks is an exclusive story with real resonance which changed the agenda.  It was brilliant journalism, with fantastic undercover reporting. It demonstrated good analysis all the way through and became one of the biggest stories of the year.

News Coverage – International: Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks - Channel 4 News

News Coverage – International: Data, Democracy & Dirty Tricks

Title: Channel 4 News
Production Company: ITN
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Nominees:
China’s Hidden Camps - BBC News at Ten
Yemen - BBC News

Described by the jury as a global scoop that changed the way the world works, Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks is a meticulous undercover investigation which uncovered attempts to subvert democracy around the world from the 2016 US presidential race to elections in countries like Kenya, Mexico and India. 

News Technology: BBC Africa Eye – The Anatomy of a Killing

News Technology: BBC Africa Eye – The Anatomy of a Killing

Title: BBC Africa Eye
Broadcaster: BBC News
Nominees:
Immersive Photojournalist Lewis Whyld’s 360° Drone Image Capture Technology - CNN International
Royal Wedding Who's Who - Sky News

The Anatomy of a Killing harnessed new technology in a simple but stunning way to tell a very powerful story.  Using only open source data and software, BBC Africa Eye investigated some grainy mobile phone footage to uncover remarkable details of murders by soldiers in Cameroon. The team pieced together a jigsaw of facts including the precise location and approximate date of the killings, to debunk the Cameroon government’s dismissal of them as fake news. The judges said it was a superb piece of public interest journalism which held power to account and had a huge impact in social media.

Scoop of the Year - Cambridge Analytica Uncovered - Channel 4 News

Scoop of the Year: Cambridge Analytica Uncovered

Title: Channel 4 News
Production Company: ITN
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Nominees:
The Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi - CNN International
Westminster Bullying - Newsnight

There were a handful of stand-out news stories of the year – all of them covered competitively by newsrooms around the world – and the judges agreed that any of the nominees would be worthy winners. However… The winning entry was – said the judges – a profoundly important and significant piece of television, which exposed a serious abuse of democracy. Its initial impact was enormous – and its reverberations are still being felt. As part of a collaborative investigation with newspapers, it featured excellent use of undercover filming techniques to help uncover one of the biggest stories of the year – the secret use of data mining and aggregating to shape and alter the course of politics. It was – said the judges – a programme of its time with global ramifications.

Specialist Journalist of the Year: Chris Cook

Specialist Journalist of the Year: Chris Cook

Title: Newsnight
Broadcaster: BBC Two
Nominees:
Michael Buchanan - BBC News
Nima Elbagir - CNN International

Described by the jury as a terrier like force of nature, Chris Cook built on years of forensic reporting in Whitehall and Westminster to expose a culture of bullying and harassment at the highest level of Parliament.

Television Journalist of the Year: Andy Davies – Channel 4 News

Television Journalist of the Year: Andy Davies

Title: Channel 4 News
Production Company: ITN
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Nominees:
Clive Myrie - BBC News
Orla Guerin - BBC News

Andy Davies had quite a twelve months. Not content with delivering a jaw-dropping exclusive that dominated the media for days on end, he produced a succession of original and remarkable reports that told stories far beyond the normal news agenda. Davies did so not only with tenacity and grit, but compassion and modesty too.

Independent Award: Riding 'The Death Train' to America's border - Channel 4 News Pacha Films

Independent Award: Riding 'The Death Train' to America's border

Title: Channel 4 News
Production Company: Pacha Films
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Nominees:
Panorama - Can Violent Men Change? - Rogan Productions / BBC Panorama
Humam Husari - ITV News

Riding 'The Death Train' to America's border is beautifully filmed with lovely narrative moments.  A very accomplished piece of film making, it’s a film about a journey that we rarely see.  It showed powerfully, with real people, the impact of policy change, which is exactly what documentary journalism should be doing. 

Young Talent of the Year: Anja Popp - Channel 4 News

Young Talent of the Year: Anja Popp

Title: Channel 4 News
Production Company: ITN
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Nominees:
Noel Phillips - The Victoria Derbyshire Programme
Rishabh R. Jain - The Plight of the Rohingya

This year saw several new and exciting young voices, but Anja Popp’s work has been quite extraordinary, both on and off camera.  The judges praised the ease with which Popp engages with people she talks to, showing sensitivity and emotional intelligence.  Popp quite clearly has a massive career ahead of her. 

Outstanding Achievement Award: Robin Elias

Outstanding Achievement Award: Robin Elias

Nominees:

There are many journalists working in newsrooms today who got their start in the business thanks to the winner of this year’s outstanding contribution award, Robin Elias. He’s retiring this year after 38 years at ITN, starting as a copy taster on ITV News and ending up as acting editor. He edited News at Ten throughout the nineties with Trevor McDonald at the helm, including coverage of the death of Princess Diana and the 9/11 terror attacks. As well as a stellar journalistic career, Elias was an early and passionate advocate of making newsrooms more diverse by bringing in people who wouldn’t normally get a foot on the ladder of TV journalism. He’s also one of the nicest people in TV news.

The winners of the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2019, sponsored by GuestBooker, have been announced.