Web beats out BBC, Al Jazeera for top TV prize

Sky News was again voted news channel of the year at the prestigious Royal Television Society television journalism awards.

It is the seventh time the BSkyB news web has won the kudos prize.

The Murdoch-controlled Sky News triumphed despite strong competition from a revitalized BBC News and the Al Jazeera English-language service, which is gaining plaudits for its coverage of the present political unrest in the Middle East.

The RTS judges said that 2010 had been “a vintage year for our 24-hour news channels with every entrant in this category of outstanding range, depth and quality.

“Sky News is bold and brave and has shown a new and exciting commitment to foreign coverage. It is still the channel that you turn to for breaking news.”

“We’re disruptive, unorthodox and bold — established but not part of the establishment,” said John Ryley, head of Sky News at the awards ceremony held Wednesday in London. “It’s fitting that we’ve won the award 21 years after Sky News launched.”

Not for the first time, the BBC failed to dominate the awards although the Beeb did pick up three awards and shared in the spoils for the judges’ prize, won by the negotiating teams from the BBC, ITN and Sky, which had secured the first ever U.K. political leaders’ debates, the media highlight of last May’s general election.

CNN Intl.’s trail-blazing attitude to new media was recognized by the innovation award for its World Cup Twitter Buzz Data Visualization initiative.

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