Tuesday 11 Mar 2014
The BBC South Today team have cause to celebrate this week, after scooping not one but four titles at the Royal Television Society Southern Centre Awards.
The BBC's regional news programme for Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and West Sussex was named Best News Magazine Programme for its special coverage of the inquests into 10 deaths at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital, in Hampshire.
The team have been waiting three years to take back the top prize after winning two years running in 2005 and 2006; and their successful evening at Winchester Guildhall on Friday (19 February) didn't stop there.
Political Editor Peter Henley was named Best Regional TV Journalist after judges praised his strong approach to telling the MPs' expenses story.
Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes took Best Regional Personality of the Year for her weekly arts and entertainment strand on South Today.
And, bringing a touch of the rural to proceedings, Roger Finn accepted the award for Best Feature or Strand for Finn's Country, created with Giles Goodman, in his trademark wellies.
Commenting on the team's success, South Today Editor Lee Desty said: "It's a wonderful result for the South Today team. To get professional recognition for our talent and journalism is always heartening. We set ourselves high standards and we know that's why half-a-million people watch us every night at 6.30pm on BBC One."
Crediting the commitment of the team, Lee said of the Best Regional News Magazine award: "We invested heavily into the story of the deaths of 10 patients at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital. We reflected the reaction of the relatives and NHS officials to verdicts by the inquest jury and ensured the context in which these deaths had taken place was made very clear to our viewers.
"It was a shocking story about what can go wrong as well as a story about an official cover-up. I've never known good journalists refuse that challenge."
The Royal Television Society Southern Centre Awards recognises achievements by media industry professionals working along the South Coast. This year's event was presented by BBC South's Sally Taylor and Fred Dinenage from ITV Meridian. For more information visit www.rts.org.uk.
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