Sheffield Hallam University lecturer wins national Radio Academy Award

27th October 2017

A Sheffield Hallam University lecturer has won a national Radio Academy Award for news coverage during the London Bridge terrorist attack.

Philo Holland, principal lecturer in journalism, was part of the team to win Gold for 'Best News Coverage' at this year's ARIAS Awards, for their production of The Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio 5Live the day of the attack. The radio show came on air at 10pm, just five minutes before the terrorist attack began on 3 June, which resulted in the deaths of eight people and more than 40 injured. Philo, a senior journalist at BBC Radio 5Live, where he produces Stephen Nolan's show and was in charge of the station's newsroom that evening, said: "It's always an incredible challenge when a story of this magnitude begins to unravel while you're on air. We needed to be absolutely certain we got our facts right and avoid speculation. "We had just gone on air, when we started to notice tweets about an incident on London Bridge. It soon became clear that things were happening in multiple locations. "As a journalist working on a live show, you have to always be prepared for major news or incidents to happen while on air. People may have been tuning into us, as we were live, for the latest, while avoiding the chaotic and confusing reports on things like twitter." "There were plenty of unhelpful rumours circulating on social media, but I feel we gave the audience what they needed to know, and handled sensitively the many eye-witnesses who came on to share their stories that night. "Stephen is an extraordinary presenter to work with in these situations. His reporting is clear, detailed, descriptive and calm. He has the ability to carry out forensic interviews which provide powerful insights and vivid pictures for the audience." This is the second year in a row that Philo has picked up a Radio Academy Gold Award. Last year his team won for their coverage of the Paris Attacks. The Academy, writing about the winners, said: "This broadcast demonstrates a presenter and production team working in perfect synergy. What happened in London Bridge on Saturday 3rd June was chaotic and confusing. BBC Radio 5Live cut through all of that, with a calm, considered and articulate approach to a truly horrific developing situation. "The presenter and his team were quick to get to the story and held the hand of the listener throughout - gently coaching shell-shocked, traumatised witnesses into sharing their stories on air. The clarity of pictures generated in the mind was second to none. "This broadcast is a stunning achievement, showcasing radio at its most powerful and immediate."

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