2 Mar 2009

How a student's tears won the RTS award

As a child I only ever received one prize – for reading aloud. I got a brown covered copy of Great Expectations. Winning one at the TV news and current affairs ‘do’ the other night was as exciting.

Yet there is something embarrassing too to be honoured by your peers. You feel that it is impossible to detach what you do from the team around you, and they almost never get one.

But then, on the other hand, there is something far more uplifting about being recognised by those you work with than some other sort of inexplicable honour that seeks to place you in the pantheon of empire and the rest.

Actually, this year I think the person who won my prize was the wonderful black American young woman student who broke down and cried in front of our camera at Washington’s Howard University at the moment Obama won the US presidential election.

Her tears provided the most moving insight into what it meant of anyone I ever saw or heard in his four-year quest for the presidency.

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8 reader comments

  1. Peter Nolan says:

    Hello Jon,

    Congratulations. For what it’s worth I can understand that you feel you are really part of a team and reluctant to be singled out.

  2. Britt says:

    I can understand that, when you work in a tight-knit team like yours (and what a team it is!), it feels somewhat embarrassing to receive an award which puts you on a pedestal like the RTS award has done.

    But, to receive this for the third time running must mean something. I think the reason you keep receiving these awards is the fact that you are not just an inspiring presenter, you are also an investigative journalist – with a very social conscience – who seeks the truth from whoever you meet in the world, be it powerful statesmen or the Irish builder down the road.

    And that honest, truth-seeking journalist in you shines through in the presenter version.

    Then again, I might be wrong. It might all be down the colour of your ties/socks.

  3. Ray Turner says:

    I think I won two prizes as a child, the best of which was a trip to collect a set of Shell coins featuring historic cars from Lord Montague of Beaulieu.

    Still got them. Still got the photo that appeared in the local paper too, of me in short trousers and duffle coat and a dopey expression. Funny how we treasure such days.

  4. Hannah says:

    Yes, you do have a marvellous team, but there is something about the way you do it, Jon. The number of times I have cheered when you asked a minister the question that I have wished someone would dare to ask is one of many reasons why you deserve the award. It couldn’t have been given to a better man, and here’s hoping you keep getting them (the ministers with your questions and the awards!)

  5. Adil Hasan says:

    Congratulations. I remember a long time ago watching a report from you from a long-forgotten country called Rhodesia.

    I prefer reasoned, clever interviewing rather than the brutal hectoring that’s becoming fashionable.

  6. Nick Lawson says:

    I would just like to add my congratulations Jon – heartily deserved. I used to win lots of prizes of books at primary school, but they tended to dry up the moment I went to grammar school – the same one infamous for Nick Ross and Chris Woodhead, incidentally!!

  7. Tina Louise says:

    So well deserved. The team too are fantastic – but you do set a standard and it deserves to be honoured. Hannah said what I feel (above) – you ask the questions I would like asked. You are my voice.

  8. Tony Webb says:

    As a support worker at C4’s recent political awards can I say that your obvious appreciation of those around you confirms your award is well deserved? Incidentally, I enjoyed meeting you after the event and was pleased that, like me, you approve of Wallinger’s white horse for the Ebbsfleet Landmark – or perhaps you were demonstrating your flair for diplomacy!

    Anyway, hope I didn’t go on too much about it, as is my way after a couple of beers. Take care.

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