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Thursday, 26 October, 2000, 22:51 GMT 23:51 UK
BBC News Online's Bafta hat-trick
News Online wins BAFTA
News Online is congratulated by Lord Puttnam [centre right]
BBC News Online has won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) award for the best news website for the third year running.

The site, which celebrates its third birthday in November, beat competition from the Financial Times and US-based news network CNN, who were also shortlisted, at the Bafta Interactive Entertainment Awards ceremony in London.

To win a Bafta for the third year running is a real tribute to everyone on the team

Editor-in-Chief Mike Smartt
BBC New Media's virtual mantelpiece was also graced with a further three Baftas for its interactive TV service, its History website and a special award for BBC Online as a whole.

BBC News Online has netted a string of honours in its short lifetime, including five NetMedia awards, the British Press Award, the Prix Italia and The Net magazine award as the world's best news site.

'One step ahead'

The editor-in-chief of News New Media, Mike Smartt, said "With competition now so intense on the web, to win a Bafta for the third year running is a real tribute to everyone on the team."

He praised the journalists for "all the high quality content for which the BBC is renowned".

And he said the innovation of the designers, developers and producers - both graphical and technical - have "kept us one step ahead".

The work of the support teams was also singled out.

"They make sure that a site of more than a million pages is available around the clock to users all over the world," Mr Smartt added.

BBC's Baftas 2000
Best UK developer: BBC Online
Best news site: News Online
Best linear media: Interactive TV
Factual award: BBC History Online

The BBC's interactive sports services - its first interactive television service - was rewarded with Best Enhancement of Linear Media.

Viewers could tune into interactive versions of both Wimbledon 2000 and the Open Golf Championships.

And the award for Best Factual site went to BBC Online's History site.

'Public service role'

As well as offering an in-depth historical archive, features and fresh perspectives on landmark historical events, the site also offers interactive games.

Ashley Highfield, director of new media, said: "The quality and ambition of the content at BBC Online has encouraged millions of visitors to our site, who have used it as a spring board to the internet, fulfilling an important element in our public service role."

He said the awards came hot on the heels of BBC Online reaching a milestone of more than 200 million page impressions a month.

This achievement was made possible "thanks to the talent and innovative work of the BBC's New Media teams", he said.

Katharine Everett, controller of interactive television added that to receive the "prestigious award" in its first year was a "considerable achievement and testament to the innovation of the BBC's Interactive TV department".

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