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Friday, 14 June, 2002, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
One World award for Talking Point
BBC News Online team
The BBC News Online team collects its One World award
A prestigious award has been won by the BBC's interactive online and radio Talking Point, for its commitment to "open dialogue and free speech".

The One World Media awards named Talking Point - jointly produced by BBC News Online and the BBC World Service - winner in its new media category, for a series of interviews between readers and newsmakers.

The award was one of several won by the BBC, with the World Service praised by Prime Minister Tony Blair, for its "reputation for impartiality and good news coverage".

Judges praised Talking Point for giving large audiences the chance to directly question world leaders, including King Abdullah II of Jordan.

The ceremony, hosted by Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow and writer and stand-up comic Omid Djalili, gave prizes for reporting in TV, radio, new media and print.

'Across borders'

Announcing Talking Point's award, Jon Snow said it had been chosen for its ability to "maximise the potential of a mix of new and traditional media".

Tony Blair
Blair: World Service can take "enormous pride" in awards
The judges also praised it for "encouraging participants to explore and discuss, across borders and boundaries, issues that affect us all".

The ceremony also saw the World Service win an outstanding contribution prize, plus best radio documentary for its programme Omnibus: The Avega Widows, about the aftermath of Rwanda's genocide.

Speaking about the outstanding contribution award, Mr Blair said: "I think everyone involved can take enormous pride not just in this very prestigious award but from all the awards the BBC World Service has won."

He added that the radio service, which currently has 150 million listeners each week, "reaches the parts of countries that other media outlets simply don't reach".

UNHCR High Commissioner Ruud Lubbers presented the award to the World Service's director Mark Byford.

Mr Lubbers said the radio service also benefited more than 21 million refugees around the globe who "often turn to the BBC's many language services for news and information they know they can trust".

HIV outbreak

Channel 4 won the TV documentary award for 2001's Beneath the Veil, described as making an "essential contribution to the understanding of the human face of (Afghanistan)".

Troops listening to World Service
Troops around the globe also use World Service to stay in touch
Lourdes Portillo's Senorita Extraviada, an account of the kidnapping, rape and murder of over 230 young women in Juárez, Mexico, won the international premier award.

And a news report entitled Chinese Aids Village (BBC One) by Adam Brooke won the TV news award for the story of the outbreak of HIV/Aids in the province of Hunan.

The judges commended the piece for "touching a common core of suffering with its plain words and memorable images".

BBC Scotland's Ferry Up The Amazon by Alex McCall - about a reverend who took a ferry from Scotland to South America to support Peru's street children - won the lifestyle award.

Child victim

Another BBC win was scooped by BBC Two's Sue Lloyd-Roberts for the Unicef Children's Rights Award - her second One World prize - for Correspondent: Whose Life is Anyway?

She spoke to children in Delhi about their need and right to work in order to survive, challenging assumptions of child labour as bad.

Another second-time winner was Eastern Daily Press's James Ruddy who received the press award for Issa Kamara's Story - about a child victim of rebel torture in Sierra Leone.

Other awards winners included the next generation prize for Mick Robertson's Geography Junction-Jamaica and the radio news gong for Angus Stickler's Child Slavery in West Africa (BBC Radio 4).

See also:

16 Apr 02 | South Asia
20 Sep 01 | South Asia
28 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
30 Oct 01 | TV and Radio
18 Jul 01 | New Media
21 Jun 00 | Africa
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