Thursday, February 25, 2010

UK TV news Awards - a juror perspective

The biggest cheers of the night went to: Television journalist of the year, the contribution Gaza's TV team had made to recording events during Israel's campaign incurring huge risks and the lifetime achievement award to Breakfast TV's Peter Mchugh.

The victor for journalist will be talked about for a while. For she, yes, she now occupies a status in that rarefied space of foreign correspondents which until now, if I heard correctly from the host, has gone to men.

Sky New's Alex Crawford joked about why perhaps it had taken her so long to be recognised. Not using contraception drew raucous laughter. Mums rarely get to report from the battle lines. Bosses see a liability. Womens' lib movements can loosen their belts one more notch.

She was in strong company. The BBC's Ian Pannel whose fearless reports from Iraq have earned him enormous respect from his peers looked a shoe-in. My career started off at the same station, Radio Leicester, where I recall Ian doing the bulletins.

There are wider implications for this year's awards. I'll come to those in later post and a more personal look at the night.