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Last Updated:  Thursday, 27 February, 2003, 12:56 GMT
BBC triumphs at TV news awards
Jeremy Paxman interview Tony Blair
Newsnight won praise for its interviews with the UK prime minister
The BBC has taken the lion's share of honours at this year's Royal Television Society's (RTS) awards for journalism.

The corporation won seven titles at the ceremony at London's Hilton hotel on Wednesday, including news programme of the year for BBC Two's Newsnight.

The event's other big winner was Channel 4, which won five titles, including the judges' award for its head of news and current affairs, David Lloyd.

Lloyd attended the ceremony, hosted by ITV's Katie Derham, in a wheelchair, a result of a serious stroke suffered in 2002.

The RTS is one of the UK's leading organisations for TV professionals, although working in the industry is not a prerequisite to membership.

The society said Newsnight had won its award "for news-making interviews with the prime minister, for investigations and analysis that led the news rather than followed it, for its coverage from under-reported corners of the world and for the sheer range it offers".

Newsnight also won the RTS award for best home news story - for Richard Watson's investigation into replica guns.

Among the BBC's other winners was James Reynolds, who won young journalist of the year for his work on BBC Four news and Newsnight.

ITV1's Trevor McDonald
Trevor McDonald fronts Tonight

BBC One's Panorama won the award for a UK-based current affairs report for its investigation into horseracing corruption.

Channel 4's trophies included one for Jon Snow, who won presenter of the year for fronting the channel's bulletins.

The channel's diplomatic correspondent, Lindsey Hilsum, won the award for specialist journalism, particularly for her work in the Middle East.

ITV took two awards, including programme of the year for ITV1's Tonight with Trevor McDonald.

Tonight is the vehicle for journalist Martin Bashir, who scooped the now-controversial interview with pop star Michael Jackson.

The RTS said: "The judges felt this year's winner reflects the best in popular current affairs journalism.

"It is a programme which has hit its stride - repeatedly getting newsmaking interviews that left others to catch up."

Sky News took two awards - news channel of the year and news event of the year, for its coverage of the murders in Soham.

CNN's investigation into al-Qaida won the award for international news reporting.

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