Breaking News: BAFTA responds to rise in news programming
The relationship between British film, TV and news is a fascinating story. Before 1950, it would have been inconceivable that any British cinema would fail to include a Newsreel in its programme for the evening, with 20 minutes of news from around the world, packaged and screened before the main feature. But TV coverage of the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 proved that technology could be used to bring news to mass audiences far more quickly.

Technological advancements continued to reduce reliance on film with its laborious processing, prompting BAFTA to introduce an award specifically for Outside Broadcasts in 1964. Throughout the 1970s and into the 80s, advances in technology transformed the business of TV news journalism. As well as live coverage of events, complex news stories now arrived on screen almost instantly, leading to the development of a number of enduring news formats – including Newsnight (1980) and breakfast news on both BBC and ITV (1983). The launch of the BBC Six O’Clock News in 1986 coincided with the introduction of a News or Outside Broadcast Coverage category, won that year by the BBC for their Live Aid coverage.

Image: News correspondent and journalist Trevor McDonald at the British Academy Film and Television Awards in 1980.

BAFTA Archive

Video: Host Michael Aspel introduces Neil Kinnock to present the first ever BAFTA for News or Outside Broadcast Coverage at the BAFTA Film and Television Awards in 1986. Mike Appleton and Phil Chilvers accept the award on behalf of the BBC1 and BBC2 Production Team for 'Live Aid for Africa' (Source: ITV Studios Limited).