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Hope in the midst of conflict recognised at the Sandford St Martin Awards

17 June 2024

Awards celebrate excellence in broadcasting about religion, ethics, and spirituality

BBC/Wall to Wall/Tom Hayward

Sarah Agha, one of the presenters of The Holy Land and Us: Our untold stories, which won the Radio Times Readers’ Award

Sarah Agha, one of the presenters of The Holy Land and Us: Our untold stories, which won the Radio Times Readers’ Award

PROGRAMMES that celebrated human resilience and the power of community were recognised at the Sandford St Martin Awards on Monday evening.

The Awards, which were presented at a ceremony in Southwark Cathedral, celebrate excellence in broadcasting about religion, ethics, and spirituality.

“In a year when conflict and turmoil have featured heavily in the news and in our media, the winners of this year’s Sandford St Martin Awards find reasons for hope,” a statement announcing the winners of the award said. “Whether it’s the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, the legacy of abuse, the climate crisis, or the ongoing debate around euthanasia, this year’s judging panels independently chose to honour programmes that have celebrated human resilience and the power of community and collective endeavours.”

The Holy Land and Us: Our untold stories (TV, 24 March 2023), made by Wall to Wall Media for BBC2, won the Radio Times Readers’ Award. In the programme, Rob Rinder and Sarah Agha explored how the histories of their families, and others’ families, were changed by the founding of the State of Israel.

In the Name of the Father, made by Beyond Creative Ltd and Renegade Stories for BBC4 (TV, 26 May 2023), won the Journalism Award. It investigated the dispute over the inheritance and legacy of Rabbi Schick, the leader of Breslov Hasidic Jews, based in Brooklyn. The runner-up was The Emerging Muslim Manosphere, broadcast on the World Service’s Heart and Soul strand.

A Time to Die, which examined the law on assisted dying, won the TV/Video Award. It was made by True Vision for ITV. The runner-up was the Al Jazeera documentary Witness — A Child of Gaza.

The Indestructibility of Hope: Wartime Christmas in Ukraine, broadcast as part of Sunday Worship on Radio 4 (Radio, 13 January 2023), won the Radio/Audio Award, beating the runner-up: The Right Thing: Follow God, not the people (CTVC for the World Service).

The Young Audience Award was given to My Life: I won’t stand for it, made by Tigerlily for CBBC’s “My Life” series, which featured Miyawata, a 15-year-old climate and social activist. The runner-up was the documentary Climate Anxiety, broadcast on TrueTube.

At the ceremony on Monday evening, the historian Tom Holland was presented with the Trustees’ Award for his contribution to the public understanding of religion (News, 14 June).

Dr Tony Stoller, who chairs the Trust, said on Monday: “Has there been a time in recent memory when there was a greater need for religious awareness and understanding? Traditionally, we have depended on our broadcasters to provide us with religiously literate and unbiased coverage of these issues.

“Against this backdrop, the entries for this year’s awards competition are a showcase for the excellence of UK content-makers working in this sector. Whether it is through cutting-edge journalism, creative storytelling, or societal impact, they prove that the audience for good religiously literate content is more diverse and more engaged than ever before.”

Read Gillean Craig’s review of the Sandford St Martin Awards here

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