Channel 4 Dispatches was the big winner at this year’s RTS Television Journalism Awards - receiving three gongs.
The awards, for news and current affairs, recognise creative and excellent journalism.
The Current Affairs Home Award went to Dispatches - The Hunt for Britain's Sex Gangs. The film produced by True Vision for Channel 4 followed, with unprecedented access, a live police investigation, showing just how difficult it is to secure justice for victims of sexual abuse.
The judges described it as: “The culmination of a remarkable body of work spanning almost two decades. It required the negotiation of unprecedented behind the scenes access, great sensitivity towards both victims and investigators and unquenchable journalistic perseverance.”
Dispatches - Syria: Across the Lines received the award for International Current Affairs.
Olly Lambert’s critically acclaimed film, explored the huge human cost of the on-going conflict in Syria. It was produced by Quicksilver Media for Channel 4.
The judges said: “The winner combined harrowing frontline reportage with revealing insights into life behind neighbouring communities at war.”
Nominated in the same category was Walking Wounded: Return to the Frontline, produced by Minnow Films for Channel 4.
This remarkable film follows Giles Duley's return to Afghanistan as he undertakes his first major photographic assignment since an IED explosion left him a triple amputee.
The Independent Award went to Dispatches - Plebs, Lies and Videotape, a Blakeway Production for Channel 4.The film revealed the full story behind ‘plebgate’ including the first interview with Andrew Mitchell since the revelations unfolded.
The investigation was described by the judges as: “Powerful, strong and original, this was a meticulously crafted film. By investigating the police version of events which led to the resignation of Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell, the winner exposed a major cover-up. Going against the tide of popular opinion they challenged the actions of one of the UK’s most popular newspapers, the police and the Cabinet Office, the ramifications of which are still playing out.”
The prestigious RTS Television Journalism Awards also proved successful for the broadcasters news output with the ITN produced Channel 4 News picking up Daily News Programme of the Year and the Specialist Journalist of the Year honoured to Michael Crick.
Channel 4 Dispatches Editor Daniel Pearl said: “Channel 4 winning both home and international current affairs awards at the RTS is a fantastic achievement and a testament to all the extraordinary work put in by all the independent production companies that make Dispatches for Channel 4.”
The awards ceremony, which was hosted by Sian Williams, took place on Wednesday 19 February at the London Hilton, Park Lane.