Al-Jazeera English wins news channel of the year award

RTS praises the channel for its coverage of the Arab spring and innovative broadcasts

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Al-Jazeera English has been named the news channel of the year at the Royal Television Society’s TV journalism awards.

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The self-proclaimed “new kid on the block” saw off competition from Sky News and the BBC at the ceremony to bag the coveted title.

In addition to winning best news channel, Al-Jazeera English also bagged the innovative news award for its social media-based show The Stream: Bahrain.

RTS judges praised the channel’s coverage of the Arab spring, the protests in Egypt and for being the first news outlet to report the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

“This is excellent news – and a tribute to the outstanding work of our dedicated staff who have helped to make al-Jazeera English one of the world’s leading global news broadcasters,” said the channel’s managing director, Al Anstey.

“Al-Jazeera English has had the most incredible year: a year where people took to the streets in protest, the economic crisis unfolded across Europe, and the world witnessed the devastating impact of the tsunami in Japan.

“Al-Jazeera English was there to capture every moment, and it is an even greater privilege for our reporters and bureaus across the world to receive this award in recognition of our great work. We look forward to continue providing in-depth, award-winning coverage as al-Jazeera English grows in reach and popularity across the world.”

Elsewhere at the ceremony, the BBC’s Panorama series won three RTS awards, including the prize for scoop of the year.

Sky News received four awards at the event, with its special correspondent, Alex Crawford, taking home the television journalist of the year prize for the third year in a row.

Here are the winners in full:

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News channel of the year: Al-Jazeera English
Young journalist of the year: Joe Casey, BBC Panorama, BBC Current Affairs for BBC1
Nations and regions news programme: Calendar, ITV Yorkshire
Nations and regions current affairs and news event: Insight: The Resurrection of Brendan Smyth, UTV Insight
News coverage – home: UK Riots, Sky News
Current affairs – home: Panorama: Undercover Care, BBC Current Affairs for BBC1
Current affairs – international: Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, ITN for Channel 4
News coverage – international: Libya, Sky News
Scoop of the year: Panorama: Undercover Care, BBC Current Affairs for BBC1
Innovative news: The Stream: Bahrain, Al-Jazeera English
The independent award: Somali Olympic Dreams – Jamal Osman for ITN/Channel 4 News
Camera operator of the year: Stuart Webb, Channel 4 News, ITN for Channel 4 News
News programme of the year: Newsnight, BBC2
Specialist journalist of the year: Paul Mason, Newsnight, BBC2
Television journalist of the year: Alex Crawford, Sky News
Presenter of the year: Anna Botting, Sky News
Judges’ award: NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
Lifetime achievement: Sir David Nicholas CBE