Channel 4 news and current affairs chief Dorothy Byrne will be honored with the BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award at the 2019 British Documentary Awards.
The Trustees’ Award recognizes an outstanding contribution to the art or craft of documentary making as part of the 47th annual Grierson Awards.
Industry veteran Byrne (pictured) is a former World In Action producer (1992-1995) and editor of ITV’s The Big Story (1995-1998), and produced arts programs and executive produced history series before making the move to Channel 4 in 1998 as commissioning editor of current affairs and editor of Dispatches. She has presided over a multi-award winning team, creating Channel 4′s news and current affairs programs since 2003.
She was previously made a fellow of The Royal Television Society for her “outstanding contribution to television” and received the Outstanding Contribution Award at the RTS Journalism Awards in 2018. She has received a BAFTA Scotland award for her services to television and the Factual Award, given by Women in Film and Television. She is the chair of the Ethical Journalism Network, which supports the development of ethical codes in journalistic organizations internationally.
“Dorothy Byrne is a force to be reckoned with,” said Lorraine Heggessey, chairman of the Grierson Trust, in a statement. “Never afraid to take a stand, she has been at the helm of four decades of extraordinary current affairs programming. The self-professed ‘old lady’ of television, she was one of the very few women in a man’s world for years. Rising above the endemic sexism of the industry at the time, she put women’s issues at the heart of her program-making taking on subjects such as marital rape, breastfeeding and most recently influencing Channel 4′s new menopause policy.
“She is a vocal advocate for the important role that television journalism plays within our nation’s democracy, holding politicians and big businesses to account,” Heggessey added. “She opens up the world to viewers here through international collaborations and champions the next generation of viewers and filmmakers be it through partnerships with new media platforms or mentoring young filmmakers. I’m thrilled that her passion and achievements in factual filmmaking will be recognized at this year’s Grierson Awards.”
The awards will be presented at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London on Nov. 14.