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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
'Authoritative' Newsnight wins award
Newsnight's editor Peter Barron collects the Orwell Award
Editor Peter Barron collects the award from judge Norma Percy
The BBC's flagship news and current affairs programme Newsnight has won a special prize at the annual Orwell Awards.

The judges called Newsnight the "most precious and authoritative home for proper reporting of important stories, beautifully crafted by journalists of rare distinction".

The Orwell Prize aims to carry forward George Orwell's ambition "to make political writing into an art" and refers to political writing in the broadest sense.

There were three awards, for journalism (Peter Beaumont of the Observer), books (Peter Hennessy for Having it so Good) and broadcasting (Newsnight). Previous winners include Michael Ignatieff, Robert Fisk and Polly Toynbee.

Special reports

Newsnight Editor Peter Barron accepted the prize at a reception in London.

In selecting Newsnight the judges highlighted some of the programme's 2006 films for special mention; a selection can be seen below.

In announcing the decision the judges said: "When we were discussing the many very fine pieces of journalism that were submitted Newsnight just spontaneously emerged in our deliberations as the most precious and authoritative home for proper reporting of important stories, beautifully and intelligently crafted by journalists of rare distinction.

"We unanimously believed that its values of objective intelligent news ought to be rewarded. We did not set out to award this prize - it plays a role in the collective intelligence of the nation."

Judges' highlights

Taleban fighters

Meeting the Taleban

David Loyn gained exclusive access to Taleban forces mobilised against the British army in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan.

Travelling through the province, David provides a unique insight by interviewing members of the Taleban and the villagers they hide among.


White Horse Village

White Horse Village

Carrie Gracie and Warwick Harrington's extraordinary films detail how rural life in China is changing in the face of rapid urbanisation.

Locals in White Horse village are under pressure to make way for a new city earmarked by the government. The films chart the efforts of the local Communist Party representative to move people off the land and the villagers' efforts to resist.


Evo Morales

Evo Morales's Bolivia

Paul Mason travels through Bolivia and meets left-wing president Evo Morales, as he tries to push through reforms he believes will benefit Bolivia's poorest.

President Morales - the first indigenous leader to run Bolivia - explains his struggle to wrest power from those who want to maintain the status quo.


Plane

Ethical Man - flying

Justin Rowlatt spent a year trying to be greener in the guise of Ethical Man. Here he explores the environmental impact of flying and whether we should stop doing it.

Having cut his domestic carbon output, Justin controversially flies to Jamaica to make a point about carbon off-setting - effectively paying others not to fly so the payee can continue to do so.


Hezbollah supporters

Hezbollah's support

At the height of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon - following the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah - Tim Whewell assessed whether support for the militant group was growing among ordinary Lebanese.

Tim produced a series of reports from Lebanon during the conflict providing both a sense of the situation on ground and analysis of the ongoing diplomacy aimed at ending the war.


John Prescott

Prescott's woes

David Grossman explored the relationship between Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and US tycoon Philip Anschutz.

Mr Anschutz was bidding to run the UK's super casino, which caused much controversy when it transpired that Mr Prescott had stayed at his ranch in Colorado. Mr Anschutz's bid subsequently failed but David's report is a triumph.


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