The International Broadcasting Conference (IBC), a leading global association guiding content delivery innovations within the broadcast industry, this weekend honored CNN’s digital newsgathering operations with two of its IBC Innovation awards, including a “Judges’ Prize” for the top innovation of the past year.
CNN’s digital newsgathering also won for “Content Creation,” an award that cited the network’s use of such an innovation for its coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in July 2006.
The IBC Innovation Awards were presented Sunday, Sept. 9, at an awards dinner at the IBC2007 Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The IBC Innovation Awards, inaugurated in 2006, celebrate technical excellence in the broadcast of news and entertainment.
“This is an amazing tribute to CNN’s often unsung heroes – our technical and satellite crews – whose ingenuity and tenacity in getting the job done shines through everyday at CNN,” said Tony Maddox, managing director for CNN International.
In presenting the awards, IBC judges recognized CNN for opening a new chapter in the use of technology in newsgathering through the use of lightweight kits that combine cameras, editing tools and advanced satellite and Internet communications technology into a laptop-based system. This suite of new technologies enable journalists to employ immediate live and video FTP submissions, real-time content monitoring, editing and voice communication from anywhere in the field.
“This is exactly the sort of project that deserves recognition,” said Mike Lumley, jury chairman for the conference. “A major broadcaster had a clear idea of what it wanted to achieve and brought together a team of technical partners to make it happen. In a particularly strong field of entries this year, it was never going to be easy to pick a Judges’ Prize, but this is a most worthy winner.”
For coverage of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, CNN’s anchors broadcast mainly from various locations in the region using conventional uplink dishes allowing correspondents file live reports in remote areas using portable transmission gear they fit into backpacks. At the height of coverage, CNN had deployed about 90 journalists with programs such as Anderson Cooper 360°, American Morning, The Situation Room, Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer and This Week at War all originating from the region. The result of this innovative approach took the story directly to the viewers from multiple angles as it unfolded.