• Newsnight leads for the BBC which wins in 10 categories at RTS Journalism Awards
  • Sky picks up first-ever Digital Award for its YouTube and Snapchat special
  • Judges Award given to all broadcasters’ political teams in recognition of “unprecedented pressure”

RTS TVJs_Political Teams

RTS TV Journalism Awards: Political teams

The BBC was the clear winner at last night’s Royal Television Society (RTS) Television Journalism Awards, scooping ten of the 19 categories across news and current affairs.

The broadcaster’s Newsnight Prince Andrew interview special picked up two awards, for Interview of the Year and Scoop of the Year, while interviewer Emily Maitlis won Network Presenter of the Year.

The BBC was followed by Sky News which triumphed in five categories, including the inaugural Digital Award which was bestowed on the broadcaster for its Snapchat Discover and YouTube piece ‘Why are transgender people self-medicating?’.

Chair of the RTS Television Journalism Awards Simon Bucks described the standard of entries as “exceptional”. He said: “I would like to congratulate not only the winners and nominees but all the entrants whose work represents the very best of the UK’s television and video journalism. The decision to give the Judges Award to all the broadcast political teams is an important recognition that over the past year, they have been subjected to unprecedented pressure and abuse, for only doing their jobs.”

BBC News, which recently announced a raft of cuts, will no doubt be buoyed by the wins having been on the receiving end of a barrage of criticism in recent months – particularly in relation to its Brexit coverage.

Commenting on the Judges Awards, the RTS team said that “the divisions of Brexit put unprecedented pressure on political journalists. Many suffered abuse and threats.

“In addition – as Adam Boulton wrote recently – 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 recognise all the political teams across all the UK broadcasters for their important role as guardians of democracy.”

The winners:

Breaking News

WINNER - Hong Kong Protesters Storm Legislative Council CNN International

“The judges were very impressed by the strength of the entries in this category. However, the winner won special praise for its gripping coverage of a dramatic unfolding story. The judges said it was a triumph of pre-planning, field production, and brilliant live reporting combined with exemplary use of technology.”



Turkey’s Incursion into Syria CNN International

Hong Kong BBC Newschannel


Camera Operator of the Year

WINNER – Wang Xiqing – BBC News BBC One

“Once again the jury commented on the quality and diversity of the entries with great technical skills on show. The winner managed to apply outstanding film-making techniques to an unfolding and unexpected environment. Add to that, bravery to tell the story despite on-going and real threats to personal security.”



Ben Martin – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4

Mstyslav Chernov Associated Press


Current Affairs – Home

WINNER - Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History BBC NI for BBC Four and BBC One Northern Ireland

“This year there were an exceptional number of outstanding entries in this category and even reaching the shortlist was not easy. The winning entry demonstrated both brilliant storytelling and wonderfully evocative film making. It was a complex story that was well pulled together and included stunning new revelations. Altogether a great piece of investigative journalism.”


Panorama - Undercover Hospital Abuse Scandal BBC Panorama for BBC One

Exposure - The Priory: Teenage Mental Health Uncovered Hardcash Productions for ITV


Current Affairs – International

WINNER – For Sama Channel 4 News / ITN Productions for Channel 4 and PBS Frontline

“The judges felt this year’s entries were very strong, and they were spoilt for choice in this category. All the shortlisted projects were brilliant, but there was little disagreement about the winner. An outstanding film, the judges thought the filmmaker told her story, combining the intimate with the macro, with breathtaking courage, stamina and determination. Already a winner of many awards here is another.”



This World – One Day in Gaza BBC Current Affairs London for BBC Two

Exposure – Undercover: Inside China’s Digital Gulag Hardcash Productions for ITV


Daily News Programme of the Year

WINNER - Newsnight BBC Two

“This category attracted entries from several genres of daily news programmes, giving the jurors the hard task of comparing extremely strong examples of programmes concentrating on important social issues against others which stick to a more mainstream agenda. All the nominees were praised for some remarkable examples of original journalism. The winner covered all the major news stories with consistent rigour and originality as well as making headlines with a scoop. However, its hallmark was its focus on political coverage underpinned by first-class interviewing by its presenters. The jury agreed the programme had made itself – once again - required viewing.”



News at Ten ITN for ITV

BBC News at Ten BBC News for BBC One


Digital Award

WINNER - Why are transgender people self-medicating? Sky News for Snapchat Discover and YouTube

“This was a new award for the RTS and we were happy to see so many submissions. The winning entry was commissioned for the vertical storytelling platform Snapchat and stood out from its competitors for its revelatory journalism told through powerful case studies. More than 1.55m people, mostly under 35s, have watched the film.”



Modern Masculinity – Men need meaning and responsibility The Guardian for The Guardian / YouTube

Uncovered – Mexico Femicide ITN for Online


Interview of the Year

WINNER – The Prince Andrew Interview – Newsnight BBC Two

“This was an unprecedented interview demonstrating enterprise, thorough preparation and was full of the unexpected. The questioning was forensic and the programme demonstrated fine journalistic skill which had a huge impact.”


Harry and Meghan: An African Journey – Duchess of Sussex ITN Productions and ITV News for ITV

Andrew Neil interviews Boris Johnson BBC News for BBC One


Nations and Regions Current Affairs

WINNER - Disclosure: Who Killed Emma? BBC Scotland for BBC One Scotland

“Here was a brilliant piece of investigation that was meticulously researched, and which not only gained surprising access to police files but also used it to pursue police failures and cover ups. The jury found the programme both electrifying and chilling. Remarkably, a tenacious, dogged reporter made more progress on a murder enquiry than a police force – an extraordinary feat that is a shining example of what exceptional journalism can achieve.”



The Pub Bombings BBC Birmingham for BBC England

Spotlight - Paisley in Paradise BBC Northern Ireland


Nations and Regions News

WINNER – BBC South East Today – Shoreham Special programme BBC South East for BBC One

“The winning programme competed in a very strong field. What stood out for the judges was the exceptional investment in a great regional news story that was a technical triumph as well. The reporting featured a number of exclusives. It made for a compelling watch that skillfully captured the psychological and emotional effects of the worst tragedy of its kind in more than 60 years.”



ITV News London – Domestic Abuse: The Crime Behind Closed Doors ITN for ITV

BBC Look North (Yorkshire) – Floods November 2019 BBC Yorkshire for BBC One


Nations and Regions Presenter of the Year

WINNER - Riz Lateef BBC London for BBC One

“Some of the measures of a highly skilled regional presenter include how well they’re able to connect with viewers; a discernible knowledge of their area; and someone who might display easy charm but knows how to ask bold questions and handle awkward situations. Our winner has all this, and it stood out. The jury appreciated the flexibility, sparkle and thought that had evidently gone into every piece they were doing and the authority that they conveyed.”


Mark Carruthers - The View; Sunday Politics NI; Election 2019 BBC Northern Ireland

Tony Morris - ITV News - Granada Reports ITV News for ITV


Network Presenter of the Year

WINNER – Emily Maitlis – Newsnight BBC Two

“Some tremendous performances graced this year’s entries. The nominated candidates demonstrated empathy, range and tenacity. The judges were impressed by their ability to present a breaking news story one day and carry out a sensitive and intimate interview on another. But the winner was seen by the judges to have had a stand-out year. In a year of political chaos, her nose for nonsense led to bruising encounters with politicians and her interview with a member of the Royal family will live on in history.”



Tom Bradby – ITV News ITN for ITV

Victoria Derbyshire – Victoria Derbyshire Programme BBC Two and BBC Newschannel


News Channel of the Year

WINNER – Sky News

“This was a very hotly contested category. In a year when the UK news agenda was dominated by a colossal domestic, political story the nominees were also praised for the breadth of their non-Brexit output They all featured strong coverage of the environment and climate change, as well as in-depth reporting of major, often shocking, events from Syria and Sri Lanka to New Zealand and Hong Kong. In a tight vote, the winner was the channel which the jurors said displayed the greatest range and most enterprise and innovation – on the ground and indeed underwater.”



BBC Newschannel

CNN International


News Coverage – Home

WINNER – The Death of Molly Russell – BBC News for BBC One

“The judges were very impressed with this entry, giving it ten out of ten and agreed it ticked all the boxes for a top award. It showed creativity, excellent scriptwriting and innovation. The entry was described as very much of our time.”


Britain’s Hidden Children’s Homes – Newsnight BBC Two

The Murder of Lyra McKee – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4


News Coverage – International

WINNER - The Missing Muslims of Xinjiang - BBC News at Ten BBC News for BBC One

“This was an intensely competitive category with many highly-compelling submissions. The winner fully captured a story that every broadcaster was chasing. The team secured great access in a challenging environment. With great story-telling and global impact.”



The Migrant Crisis: Death on the Channel – ITV News ITN for ITV

Inside Syria - Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4


News Technology

WINNER - First Lives from the Deep Sky News and Associated Press

“The winning entry represented an innovative step-change in broadcast technology. At a time when climate change is our biggest story, the ability to present live, 300 metres below the Indian Ocean completely untethered, brought new insights and perspectives on the damage being done to our seas. This project with its pioneering technology was almost a year in the planning.”



Click 1000 – BBC Click BBC News

Vote Coder BBC News


Scoop of the Year

WINNER - The Prince Andrew Interview – Newsnight BBC Two

“This world exclusive was making headlines even before it was broadcast. Clips were running, it was on every front page and it was already clear that this amazing interview was going to cause major ructions for at least one member of the Royal Family, even though we knew he wasn’t sweating about it(!)”



Undercover with the Clerics: Iraq’s Secret Sex Trade - BBC News Arabic for BBC News and BBC Two

Harry Dunn Sky News


Specialist Journalist of the Year

WINNER - Rohit Kachroo - ITV News ITN for ITV

“Rohit has had an extraordinary year and has really made his mark. He is tough when he needs to be and has a fantastic portfolio of exclusives that anyone would bite their opponents’ legs off to get. In a fine field, Rohit’s work stood out above all the others.”


Alex Crawford – Sky News

Dan Rivers – ITV News ITN for ITV


Television Journalist of the Year

WINNER - Nima Elbagir CNN International

“The standard of entries in this category was as high as it has ever been and each of the nominees would have been a worthy winner. In the end, the judges went for a journalist who demonstrated an unmatched range of investigation, eye-witness reporting and courage with sparkling writing and the ability to find themselves at the centre of a story.”



Gabriel Gatehouse – Newsnight BBC Two

Stuart Ramsay Sky News


Young Talent of the Year

WINNER - Martha Kelner Sky News

“Martha has established herself as a leading broadcast sports correspondent – a beat dominated by men – through bringing hard-edged and investigative skills into an area where they are rarely seen. She gets beneath the sports headlines to underlying issues and has built an enviable track record in breaking stories as a result. She has brought fresh perspectives to sport and pursued them with unusual skill and energy.”



Ben Hunte – BBC News for BBC One

Yousra Elbagir – Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4


Judges’ Award

WINNER – Political Teams (5 News, BBC News, Channel 4 News, ITV News and Sky News)

“The divisions of Brexit put unprecedented pressure on political journalists. Many suffered abuse and threats.

In addition – as Adam Boulton wrote recently – 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.”


Outstanding Contribution Award

WINNER - Christiane Amanpour

“This year [the Judges’ Award] goes to a towering global figure in English speaking broadcast journalism, a doyenne of international television presenters.

She was born in London, raised in Tehran, educated at a convent in Buckinghamshire before university in America.

She began her broadcast career while still an undergraduate. Over four decades she has covered more or less every major conflict and interviewed pretty much anyone who is anyone. She is a committed campaigner for media freedom and the safety of journalists.”