Commonwealth broadcasters win awards for excellence

2 May 2002, MANCHESTER - The South African Broadcasting Corporation, New Delhi Television and Doordarshan, India were among the major award winners at the 24th annual awards dinner of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA).

The awards recognized achievement in four major areas: Children's Programming, Cost-Effective Engineering, Exceptional News Feature and Contribution to Public Service Broadcasting.

CBA Secretary-General Elizabeth Smith said the judges of the awards were impressed by the quality and diversity of entries.

"Looking at all the entries, the range and variety is exceptionally wide. Some come from small islands, some from giants like the Prasar Bharati of India. But virtually all of them show a commitment to the highest standards of public service broadcasting".

The following awards were presented:

CBA-UNICEF Children's Programming Award
The award for Children's Programming was won by the South African Broadcasting Corporation/Children and Moments Entertainment for the programme "Pen Pals: Pretoria." The judges of award were impressed with the program's ability to capture African children in their everyday surroundings, while at the same time, tackling serious issues in relation to robbery, domestic violence and apartheid.

CBA-ROLLS-ROYCE Award for Exceptional News Feature
Doordarshan, India won the award for Execeptional News Feature for "Shores of Silence - Whale Sharks in India." The judges were taken by the determination shown by those behind the production that took three years to film and included scenes at sea and shore never seen before. The televised piece about endangered whale sharks had such an impact that it contributed to new legislation to protect the species.

CBA-IBC Award for Cost Effective Engineering
New Delhi Television Limited was awarded the award for Cost Effective Engineering for adopting PC technology to get pictures from the field to the studio in a cost effective way. The methods that NDTV adopted are compatible with any available communication systems - from phone line to satellite. Judges said the enhanced output is noticeable and the "difference shows on the screen."

Highly commended awards

Children's Programming
"Wings of Hope" made by Doordarshan, India tackled the issue of the role of a child servant longing to play rather than work.

"Kiddies Voices" by Voice of Nigeria included songs, vox pop, drama and riddles. A range of local languages and songs were featured and children were able to express their own views.

"Kadwal/Panajho" by BBC World Service Trust in Pashto and Persian were programmes for the displaced in Afghanistan and included three programs a week for children. The judges commended the Trust for responding quickly to a clear need and for involving children in telling their own stories and giving messages about health and survival.

Exceptional News Feature
The judges felt that "Hunger" by New Delhi Television Ltd was a very strong report, on an old subject which is not currently fashionable, though it ought to be. It was difficult to shoot because of the isolation of the village and the lack of assistance from the authorities. The impact of the story was such that it was later used as evidence in a court case.

The awards dinner took place at The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Manchester in conjunction with the 24th Annual General Conference of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. Over 300 delegates, from over 50 countries are in attendance for the conference which focuses around the theme of "Innovation in Broadcasting."

For more information contact:

Email Elizabeth Smith, elizabeth@cba.org.uk or contact the CBA Secretariat in London at 17 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA, London, UK. tel: +44 (0)20 7583 5550, fax: +44 (0)20 7583 5549 for more information.