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Friday, July 2, 1999 Published at 00:07 GMT 01:07 UK


BBC scoops online journalism awards

Some of the News Online team celebrate three more awards

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall

BBC News Online was the big winner in the UK's first online journalism awards, taking three of the eight categories.

[ image: Whitehouse: Second award this week]
Whitehouse: Second award this week
There was recognition too for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), which won the Best Overall Journalism Service, and for John West of Out There News, who was named Internet Journalist of the Year.

The awards, aimed at recognising and rewarding "the practice of telling good stories using digital tools and techniques in an online medium", were presented by Kirsty Lang of Channel Four News during NetMedia 99, the annual Internet conference for journalists at London's City University.

'One of the best on the Net'

The judges praised BBC News Online's wins in three categories:

  • Best General News: "One of the best general news services on the Internet. On the BBC's online channel, the Net's unrivalled ability to deliver breaking news, minute by minute, to a global audience, is well served by the BBC's vast newsgathering capacity."
  • Best Business: "The BBC's coverage of business affairs ... is flourishing on the Net."
  • Science & Technology: (for Science Editor, Dr David Whitehouse, his second award in a week)
    "What the BBC's online science coverage lacks in multimedia whiz-bang, it makes up with reporting of the highest order. And it is mercifully concise."

New journalism for new millennium

There were winners in five other categories:

  • Internet Journalist of the Year: John West (Out There News)
    "He has broken out of the 'old media' mould and succeeded in creating a new form, style and approach for Internet journalism which stimulates and provokes ... His work points the way for a model of journalism that will be relevant beyond the millennium. [Paul Eedle, his co-director at Out There News, deserves a special mention for his work on some of the mould-breaking Internet journalism produced by the team over the past 18 months]"
  • Best Overall Journalism Service: Institute of War & Peace Reporting.
    "The IWPR reflects real passion that cuts through the war-weariness of ordinary reportage. IWPR's contributions, which were often picked up and repeated in print by newspapers across the globe, is a testament to the quality and unique perspectives they provide. This online journalism is a beacon to our new industry; and although it lacks in multimedia inputs, this does not detract from its very high standards."
  • Sports: Scotland Online (Scottish Football Newsletter)
    "Scotland Online's "Scottish Football Newsletter" provides consistently high quality reporting and intelligent use of multimedia. These are the hallmarks of a news service that uses the Internet to full advantage."

  • Best Entertainment: Film Unlimited
    "Excellent writing. Entertaining. Well designed, with clear, consistent navigation. Hard to beat."

  • Best News Design & Navigation: Guardian Unlimited
    "Aesthetically, the redesigned Guardian sites are streets ahead of anything on this side of the Atlantic (and much on the other side). The reader is moved effortlessly from story to story with the minimum of fuss. The colour coding of the sites is a wonderful location-finder. You can't get lost in this cyberspace. Give it A-plus."

Awards to be extended

There was no award made in the Best Story Broken on the Net category, which one of the judges, Duncan Campbell, described as "a disappointment".

"Is that because we aren't seeing them, or because great breaking stories are still reserved to print or television?" he asked.

The awards will be extended to all European journalists from next year and the number of categories increased.

BBC News Online has won numerous awards since its launch in November 1997. It was the first Website to win a Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) award in October last year and was named Best Internet News Service at the British Press Awards in March.

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