It was clean-up time for the BBC at the Commission for Racial Equality’s annual Race in Media Awards last night, in which the organisation took the prestigious Media Organisation of the Year prize for the second year running. The award recognises the organisation the judges feel made a significant contribution to public appreciation and understanding of race relations, integration and diversity in Britain. The BBC’s also won awards in the television, radio and online categories.
BBC London News Special Correspondent Kurt Barling and Executive Editor Michael MacFarlane were winners of the Television News Award for an overall body of work.
BBC Radio 4 won the Radio Drama award for Exiled from Paradise, a contemporary tale based on the true stories of the people of Diego Garcia who in the Seventies were removed from their British-owned island to make way for a United States naval base. The Radio News award went to BBC Radio Five Live for the Breakfast Hamza Viyana interviews, which investigated why four apparently unremarkable young men brought carnage to London in July 2005. The programme’s investigation was carried out with the help of Hamza Viyana, a 22-year-old Muslim from Leicester.
BBC Radio Leicester won the Radio Factual award for Rupal’s Ugandan Journey, an emotional documentary in which Rupal Rajan travels back to her birthplace in Uganda to tell the story of how Dictator Idi Amin gave Asians three weeks to leave the country.
BBC TWO’s Race ? Changing Attitudes, a programme aimed at secondary school pupils and examining issues of identity and racism, took the Youth award. The Television Drama award went to BBC ONE’s Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee, a serial based on the best selling novel by Meera Syal.
The BBC picked up the Film Documentary award for Who do you think you’re talking to?, in which Norwich Union call-centre workers in Bangalore and Norwich swapped jobs, changing their perspectives forever. The BBC Asian Network picked up the Broadcast Soap award for Silver Street, a radio soap that weaves topical world events into characters’ lives.
The New Media award, sponsored by the BBC this year, went to bbc.co.uk/worldclass.
BBC World Class encourages UK schools to twin with schools around the world ? an initiative that challenges racial and cultural stereotypes and enables understanding between young people in the UK and around the world.
Mark Thompson, BBC Director-General, said: “This is a BBC achievement that makes me particularly proud, because it reflects our total commitment as an organisation to delivering content that an increasingly diverse UK population can enjoy. People rightly expect and demand programmes and services from us that reflect their lives and passions.
“These awards across television, radio and online are recognition that we have a strong base from which to work as we move forward with Creative Future.”