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Al Jazeera English named news channel of the year

By Tom Lawrence

Al Jazeera English has been named news channel of the year at the annual Royal Television Society Awards.

The global news channel beat off competition from BBC News and Sky News to pick up the gong just five years after its launch.

Judges praised its frontline reporting on the Arab awakening, the Egypt protests and being the first on the scene to report the death of Muammar Gaddafi.

The channel also won the Innovative News Award for its social media programme The Stream: Bahrain at last night's central London ceremony, held to commend Britain's leading television journalists and programmes.

Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, Al Anstey, said: "Al Jazeera English has had the most incredible year: a year where people took to the streets in protest, the economic crisis unfolded across Europe, and the world witnessed the devastating impact of the tsunami in Japan.

"Al Jazeera English was there to capture every moment, and it is an even greater privilege for our reporters and bureaus across the world to receive this award in recognition of our great work."

"This is excellent news - and a tribute to the outstanding work of our dedicated staff who have helped to make Al Jazeera English one of the world's leading global news broadcasters.

"We look forward to continue providing in-depth, award-winning coverage as Al Jazeera English grows in reach and popularity across the world."

Al Jazeera English was launched in November 2005 and was the first English language world news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East.

It has over 70 bureaux across the world and is available in more than 130 countries to more than 260 million households worldwide.

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