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Al Jazeera English wins top British award for news coverage

Al Jazeera English was named News Channel of the Year at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Awards in London on Wednesday ahead of competition from Sky News and BBC News.

The five-year old channel, based in Qatar, received praise for its coverage of the Arab Awakening, Egypt’s Tahrir Square protests, and for being the first on the scene to report the death of former Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi.

“Al Jazeera English has had the most incredible year: a year where people took to the streets in protest, the economic crisis unfolded across Europe, and the world witnessed the devastating impact of the tsunami in Japan. Al Jazeera English was there to capture every moment, and it is a great privilege for our reporters and bureaus across the world to receive this award in recognition of our hard work,” said Al Anstey, managing director, Al Jazeera English.

“We look forward to continue providing in-depth, award-winning coverage as Al Jazeera English grows in reach and popularity across the world.”

In addition, the Innovative News Award was given to an Al Jazeera English programme called The Stream. An analysis of the struggle between government loyalists and opposition supporters in Bahrain, the documentary draws heavily on social media and Skype interviews.

The Stream allowed people to share their experiences and air their views in the midst of government crackdowns across the Middle East. The Stream was created for this very purpose, because we acknowledged the power of social media and citizen journalism and wanted to harness it. We share this award with everyone that has contributed to the show and its success,” said Paul Eedle, director of programmes, Al Jazeera English.