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BBC tops RTS’s 2020 Television Journalism Awards

Channel 4′s feature-length documentary For Sama and BBC1 Scotland’s Disclosure: Who Killed Emma? were among the top winners at the Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Awards in London last night (Feb. 26). The ...
February 27, 2020

Channel 4′s feature-length documentary For Sama and BBC1 Scotland’s Disclosure: Who Killed Emma? were among the top winners at the Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Awards in London last night (Feb. 26).

The awards, for both news and current affairs, seek to recognize creative and excellent journalism by organizations whose broadcasts are transmitted on a UK-based platform, and those who create online video content from a UK production base, according to the RTS.

Talent was celebrated from across 19 categories in total, with British pubcaster BBC leading the way with 10 wins spanning both news and current affairs. Sky News followed closely behind with five wins overall.

Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ Academy Award-nominated For Sama (pictured), produced by ITN Productions and Channel 4 News, received the Current Affairs – International award. The 95-minute film chronicles the female experience of war by documenting the five-year journey of co-director Al-Kateab as she navigates through love, marriage and motherhood during the revolution in Aleppo, Syria.

The BBC Scotland-produced Disclosure: Who Killed Emma?, meanwhile, has picked up Current Affairs honors for the Nations and Regions. The five-part series follows journalist Samantha Poling as she investigates the high-profile unsolved murder of Emma Caldwell, who was found strangled 14 years ago in remote Scottish countryside.

Elsewhere, the Digital Award, new this year, was presented to Sky News for Snapchat Discover and YouTube for their efforts on Why Are Transgender People Self-medicating?

In addition, the winner of the Outstanding Contribution Award was Christiane Amanpour, who has spent more than four decades covering major conflicts and campaigning for media freedom and the safety of journalists. The Judges’ Award, meanwhile, was collectively handed out to the political teams of 5 News, BBC News, Channel 4 News, ITV News and Sky News.

Regarding the Judges’ Award, the jury commented: “The divisions of Brexit put unprecedented pressure on political journalists. Many suffered abuse and threats. In addition, relations between the media and the political class are being increasingly challenged as politicians by-pass journalists, preferring instead to put their messages out directly. Against this background the judges decided that the RTS should recognize all the political teams across all the UK broadcasters for their important role as guardians of democracy.”

The awards ceremony, hosted by Sky News presenter Anna Botting, took place on Wednesday (Feb. 26) at the London Hilton.

Check out the full list of winners via the RTS website.

 

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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