The AIBs 2020

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The AIBs are now closed for entries

2020 is an unprecedented year. COVID-19 presents new challenges in every part of the world, and each of us is faced with significant changes to the way we live and work.

Never in our lifetimes has telling stories to audiences across the world been more important. Media in all its different forms plays a vital role: ensuring that the public has the facts that matter to them and that they need, every day. Reporting the news accurately, fairly and without sensationalism, combined with considered analysis and insight, is vital in these extraordinary times.

We are conscious that journalists and programme makers are under immense pressure as they rise to the challenge of keeping citizens at home and abroad informed, often working with reduced resources from locations without the usual facilities and support. The AIB pays tribute to you all.

Therefore, we recognise that as we launch our 16th international competition for journalism and factual productions we are asking you to take on another burden in selecting and entering your work in the AIBs. Yet in the midst of all this uncertainty, we are convinced that it is important for your work, and that of your teams, to be recognised.

Arts and Culture

TV and video

We are looking for stories that bring arts and culture into people’s lives in a fresh and exciting way. The programme should not be afraid to challenge the audience. Your entry can be a single programme or a series and it must clearly explain the subject, its context and its relevance.

Human Interest

TV and video

This award will go to a single programme or series that has presented a human interest story in the most engaging and compassionate way without being sensationalist or over-hyped. The viewer should be able to easily understand and empathise with the story. We expect to see context and relevance clearly spelled out within the story telling.

Natural World

TV and video 

This award will go to a single documentary or an episode from a series, that looks at the natural world around us. The subject could be wildlife, flora and fauna, geography or ecology, for example. We’re looking for engaged presentation that captures the imagination of audiences  who will be enthralled by the storytelling.

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Science and Technology

TV and video

We are looking for either a single programme or series that explores and explains science, technology or related disciplines – such as health and medicine – in an exciting and distinctive way. We expect the curiosity and interest of the viewer to have been aroused even if the subject and related theories are complex. The storytelling should stimulate viewers to want to learn more.

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Domestic Affairs Documentary

TV and video

We are looking for journalistically ambitious coverage of contemporary subjects on your home patch and it can be either a single programme or a series. We want to see productions that reflect the interests of your channel’s or platform’s audience: health, home, crime and jobs could be the subject – it’s a wide-open field.

International Affairs Documentary

TV and video

We want to see a single programme or series that reflects the contemporary world. We’re looking for strong journalism that provides the audience with unexpected insight into the subject, along with great storytelling that demonstrates the production team’s curiosity about the issue. We want to see context given to the audience who may not have first-hand knowledge of the subject under discussion.

Investigative Documentary

TV and video

Investigative programmes have the responsibility to hold governments, institutions, businesses and those with influence and power to account. Our investigative documentary category is looking for regional, national or international productions that have worked hard to tell an important story that has been challenging to uncover. We’re looking for detailed research that has provided incontrovertible evidence to support any claims made in the programme, presented with fairness and balance. Our judges will want to be sure that any sources taking part have been protected from possible repercussions.

Politics and Business

TV and video

Politics and business can be complex subjects to present to audiences and this award will go to the single programme or series that rises to this challenge and gets to the heart of a subject. The production will clearly tell the story and make it relevant to the viewers. We want to see authoritative, even-handed narrative and clearly presented facts that inform and engage the audience.

Short Documentary

TV and video

This category is designed for an outstanding and imaginative topical or news feature with a running time of no more than 20 minutes. The programme will provide the audience with an insight into the contemporary world. There are no boundaries or definitions for the subjects the short documentary can cover. We’re simply searching for outstanding story-telling achieved within a cleverly and effectively produced short duration feature.

Single News Report

TV and video

This award is for a single report within daily journalism carried in a daily programme or on a news website. Your entry may be either a breaking story or planned coverage of an issue or event.The entry must show a good grasp of the issues and convey the facts and context to the audience in a clear and concise way showing sensitivity and compassion when appropriate. Raw footage is not acceptable; we need reports as broadcast.

Continuing News Reporting

TV and video

This award is for multiple reports within daily journalism about an ongoing story that evolves over days, weeks or months. It can be either an unplanned breaking story or planned coverage of an issue or event.

The entry must show a good grasp of the issues and convey facts and context to the audience in a clear and concise way, demonstrating sensitivity and compassion when appropriate.

Arts and Culture

Radio and audio

We are looking for stories that bring arts and culture into people’s lives, helping listeners to see the world in a fresh way and from a different, sometimes challenging perspective. Your entry can be either a single programme or series that brings the story to life and stimulates curious minds.

Human Interest

Radio and audio

This award will go to a single programme or series that has presented a human interest story in the most engaging and compassionate way. The listener should be able to easily understand and empathise with the story and we expect to see context and relevance clearly spelled out.

The production will have made full use of the sound stage, offering an immersive programme that keeps the listener enthralled.

Investigative Documentary

Radio and audio

Investigative programmes have the responsibility to hold to account governments, institutions, businesses and others with influence and power. Our investigative award is looking for regional, national or international productions that have worked hard to tell an important story that has been challenging to uncover.

We’re looking for detailed research and incontrovertible evidence to support any claims made in the programme. Fairness and balance are vital and we’ll want to be sure that any sources have been protected from possible repercussions.

News Reporting

Radio and audio

This award is for a single report within daily journalism carried in a daily programme or on a news website. It can be either a breaking story or planned coverage of an issue or event.
We’re looking for both the highest quality journalism and production qualities appropriate for the story and, in the absence of pictures, clarity of description and scene-setting so that the audience clearly understands what’s happening on the ground. The entry must show a good grasp of the issues and convey the facts and context to the audience in a clear and concise way showing sensitivity and compassion when appropriate.

Factual Podcast

Radio and audio

Do you have a podcast that has caught the attention of your listeners? Has your subject drawn people in leaving them wanting more? We are looking for podcasts that have delivered insight into news, current affairs or factual issues. There must be innovative use of sound without it distracting from the storytelling.

You will also need to demonstrate the reach your podcast has achieved so the judges can see its impact.

Channel of the Year

 The Association for International Broadcasting will reward the most outstanding TV channel of the past year. Our judges are looking for evidence of the channel’s success in its key markets, effective branding and marketing – including on social platforms and the web – and a positive response from the audience across the past 12 months.

Whether your channel is new to the market or an established player, this award offers you the opportunity to show you and your team are the best.

Send us your 30-minute show-reel that demonstrates why your channel deserves this award, as well as a written summary of highlights and achievements.

News Agency of the Year

This new category for 2020 will reward the news agency that has delivered the best video or audio services to its clients over the last year, showing commitment to innovation in both content and delivery. The judges will be interested to see provision of exclusive coverage that has been used by broadcasters and other media outlets in mainstream news or factual stories. They will also want to see a commitment to diverse coverage, providing unusual, unique or original takes on stories from around the world.

Young Journalist

Our young journalist award will recognise an individual aged under 30 working in the factual programming industry who has made a real impact and is heading towards the top of the media industry.
This award will not discriminate against the platform you’re working on – TV, radio, digital or podcasting are all equal as we search for the leading young talent of the year.
Entries for this category can be self-nominated, or your company can enter you.

Impact Award

Sponsored by

The AIB Impact Award will recognise a documentary or feature that has delivered significant and measurable social or political impact. The programme will be one that has been entered into one of the AIBs categories this year (mark on the entry form that you want it to be also considered in the Impact category).
It may be that the production is an investigative report that has influenced public debate, provided the catalyst for authorities to take action, or that has uncovered a hidden story that has led to a change in policy or legislation.
It could be a personal story that has delivered an unexpected impact among the public.
We want to see programming that is truly exceptional and that has delivered remarkable traction with the audience.