CNN Intl. was the surprise winner of the Royal Television Society’s news channel of the year award at the annual Television Journalism Awards in London on Wednesday.
The Time Warner-owned web beat BBC News and satcaster BSkyB’s Sky News, a big winner at previous RTS Awards.
Last year’s victor, Al Jazeera English, was not even nominated.
CNN Intl. was praised for “its distinctive coverage and energetic and vivid reporting.”
Jurors added that “they were ahead of the curve in Pakistan, interviewing Malala, the young woman who was shot by the Taliban, before she was injured; and their interview with FIFA President Sepp Blatter became a major news story revealing racism in (soccer) at the highest level.”
The win will be good news for CNN, where Jeff Zucker was recently hired as worldwide prexy to ramp up U.S. ratings and oversee its global perf.
The night was dominated by ITN, which provides news items for commercial web ITV and all of pubcaster/commercial hybrid Channel 4’s news. It picked up eight honors, notably one for home news coverage of BBC star Jimmy Savile’s rampant child sex abuse, aired on ITV, which led to one of the worst crisis in the pubcaster’s history,
ITV Studios nabbed two awards in its own right for the Savile story: scoop of the year and home current affairs.
Channel 4 News collected six prizes at the ceremony, including daily news program and national presenter, for news anchor Jon Snow.
The BBC’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen was voted specialist journalist of the year.
News Corp.’s Sky News failed to win a single prize.