Al-Jazeera English is surprise RTS choice for news channel of the year award

Al-Jazeera provided "essential viewing for insight and understanding of the evolving story" in the M

Al-Jazeera English has picked up the news channel of the year award at the Royal Television Society journalism awards, beating Sky News and BBC News to scoop the prize.

The awards didn't stop there as Al-Jazeera also collected the innovative news prize in recognition of their show The Stream: Bahrain, a news programme which utilises Skype and social media.

It was Al-Jazeera's coverage of the revolutions in the Middle East which impressed the panel of judges, who claimed the show was "essential viewing for insight and understanding of the evolving story".

Throughout the night tributes were paid to Marie Colvin. Colvin died this week whilst covering the unfolding events in Syria in her role as war correspondent for The Times.

Other winners include:

Young journalist of the year: Joe Casey, BBC Panorama, BBC Current Affairs for BBC1

Nations and regions news programme: Calendar, ITV Yorkshire

Nations and regions current affairs and news event: Insight: The Resurrection of Brendan Smyth, UTV Insight

News coverage - home: UK Riots, Sky News

Current affairs - home: Panorama: Undercover Care, BBC Current Affairs for BBC1
News coverage - international: Libya, Sky News

Scoop of the year: Panorama: Undercover Care, BBC Current Affairs for BBC1

Innovative news: The Stream: Bahrain, Al-Jazeera English

The independent award: Somali Olympic Dreams - Jamal Osman for ITN/Channel 4 News

Camera operator of the year: Stuart Webb, Channel 4 News, ITN for Channel 4 News

News programme of the year: Newsnight, BBC2

News channel of the year: Al-Jazeera English

Specialist journalist of the year: Paul Mason, Newsnight, BBC2

Television journalist of the year: Alex Crawford, Sky News

Presenter of the year: Anna Botting, Sky News

Judges' award: NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)

Lifetime achievement: Sir David Nicholas CBE