The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced that Newsround will be awarded the Special Award at this year’s British Academy Children’s Awards which will take place on Sunday, 27 November 2011 at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
The Special Award will be presented to Newsround at the annual British Academy Children’s Awards in celebration of the programme’s 40th Anniversary of broadcasting and in recognition of the significant contribution the programme has made to children’s television for the past four decades.
The Special Award will be presented by former Newsround producer and current BBC political editor Nick Robinson who will be welcoming Newsround’s first presenter John Craven, creator Edward Barnes and current presenter Ore Oduba onto the stage to accept this prestigious award on behalf of Newround.
John Craven comments “Newsround was the first show of its kind in the world and I’m deeply thankful to BAFTA for recognising it as such. Newsround was and always will be my little baby and I couldn’t be more proud of it now it’s all grown up”
Edward Barnes notes “I am deeply honoured and profoundly grateful to BAFTA for this recognition of Newsround - the world's first regular news bulletin for children. I hope that the importance of a news bulletin which reports the children's world and also provides children with an insight and understanding of world events, will always be recognised and given a prominent place in children's television”.
Newsround (or John Craven’s Newsround as it was first known) started on 4 April 1972 in the corner of an existing BBC news office and was created by Edward Barnes, the then deputy head of children’s programmes. The team consisted of three people including John Craven as presenter, and was originally broadcast just twice a week. Over the years the success and the size of the show has grown and Newsround now proudly boasts a larger, more varied team who broadcast 50 bulletins a week across CBBC, BBC One and BBC Two. Newsround is the only news programme for children now attracting an audience of over 800,000.
Over its 40 years of broadcasting, Newsround has held a reputation for reporting on all major UK and global news events and in some cases has broken news stories before anybody else. Newsround was the first British television programme to break the news of the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger on 28 January 1986 when the shuttle exploded just 15 minutes before the show aired.
More recently Newsround has begun producing Newsround Specials. These 15 minute documentaries aired on both CBBC and BBC One tackle significant issues or news stories affecting children today. The 2010 special Living with Alcohol won a BAFTA for the Best Children’s Factual Programme last year, and in the past 12 months Newsround has travelled to Afghanistan to report on the lives of children living in Kabul as well as reporting on the work of the British Military in Helmand. The most recent Newsround Special My Autism and Me followed the life of 13 year old autism sufferer Rosie and next month Welcome to My World will examine the very different lives of two children growing up in the same London neighbourhood.
Arguably one of Newsround’s biggest success stories has been the wealth of presenters and journalists that have appeared on the programme and gone on to have full and varied careers in television news reporting. Many of these presenters have commented on the impact of starting their careers at Newsround and the responsibility they felt to their young viewers.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy currently Channel 4 News presenter comments on his time at Newsround; “No programme puts its audience first quite like Newsround does and I learned more about television, journalism and thinking about the viewer in my three years there than anywhere else in television. The ethos and approach was drummed into us from day one, and never relaxed. Never patronise, always look at things from their point of view, never assume knowledge. Everybody who ever left Newsround always said it was like a family - and it was.”
Newsround Editor Owenna Griffiths states “Newsround is without doubt the most challenging place I've ever worked as a journalist. It’s taught me more than anywhere else about how to truly make audience-focused programmes. Reporting on world events for an audience with few - or no - assumptions forces you to think clearly about the key elements of any story, and how to present them in a way which makes sense to a 10 year old. With so many sources of information now available to children, it is even more important than in 1972 that there is a trusted source of news available for children both on TV – and now online too.”
Commenting on BAFTA honouring Newsround with the Special Award at this year’s British Academy Children’s Awards, BBC Director General Mark Thompson said "For 39 years Newsround has been one of the real jewels in the BBC's crown and we're incredibly proud of it and everything it’s done. So many, many congratulations to the programme and everyone who works on it today and who has worked on it for this amazing award."
Media attendance is welcome and journalists interested in attending the British Academy Children’s Awards should contact Romley Davies for accreditation and a detailed schedule of the event.
Print & Broadcast:
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work.
For more information on the British Academy Children’s Awards please visit www.bafta.org
The Awards will be reported by BAFTA's web team on the night from @BAFTA with #BAFTAchildren . Awards host Barney Harwood will tweeting from @_ BarneyHarwood _ and BAFTA's red carpet & backstage presenter Nigel Clarke will be tweeting from @Nigelclarketv