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Thursday, October 21, 1999 Published at 01:15 GMT 02:15 UK


BBC nets another Bafta

BBC winners: (Left to right) Technical director Matthew Karas, project director Bob Eggington, executive editor Mike Smartt

BBC News Online has won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) award for the best news website for the second year running.

The BBC site, which is two years old next week, beat the shortlisted CNN and Fox Sports - both from the United States - to the prestigious award, introduced for the first time last year.

The award follows hard on heels of the site's first international prize, a Prix Italia for best website, awarded in Sienna last month.

The Bafta judges said BBC News Online "provides an amazing depth of content which at the same time is very easy to navigate and to access particular information".

They added: "The use of original editorial content was praised as well as the appropriate use of rich media, that didn't detract from the main focus."

After receiving the award at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, BBC News Online's executive editor, Mike Smartt, said: "Since we won the first ever News Interactive Bafta last year, the medium has developed apace, so to win the award for a second year is particularly significant.

"It is a tribute to all the hard work of the best web news team in the business."

Other winners

Among the many other categories, the BirdGuides website, published by The Red Green & Blue Company Ltd, won Bafta's the e-zine award. And Cold War site helped CNN Interactive take the factual award.

The BBC also had another Bafta winner in the children's category with Noddy - let's get ready for school.

The awards, held this year in association with ICL, are designed to recognise the growing importance of CD-Roms and the internet in the entertainment industry.

Bafta, best known for promoting excellence in British film and television, changed its membership criteria last year to allow the new media industry into its ranks.

It was only the second time the rules had been changed - the first was in 1958 to allow the television industry into the academy.

Previous awards

BBC News Online, launched in November 1997, is now recording more than 50 million page views a month and is the biggest content site in Europe. It has won an impressive series of awards:

  • Prix Italia. Best news website. September 1999
  • Online Journalism Awards, July 1999 - BBC News Online won three of the eight categories in the first UK Net journalism awards
  • 1999 Radio Academy British Telecom award for technical innovation - Talking Point won this for its multimedia phone-in
  • 1999 British Press Awards - winner as Best Internet News Service
  • 1998 Interactive Baftas - Best News site
  • 1998 Financial Times International Business Website of the Year - News Online's Business Section won the Best Public Sector site
  • 1998 Site of the Year - as chosen by Internet magazine
  • 1998 British Interactive Multimedia Association (BIMA) awards - Best Consumer Information Service category

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