The Associated Press has won the Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Award for News Technology for its groundbreaking transmission of broadcast-quality live video from the depths of the Indian Ocean.
AP shares the award with Sky News, which collaborated with AP on the mission and joined the news agency on board the Nekton research vessel in the Seychelles.
The award was announced on Wednesday during the RTS Television Journalism Awards in London.
Cutting edge optical technology allowed AP to send live footage of a deep sea scientific mission through the waves without cables to hundreds of broadcasters and digital publishers across the globe in March 2019.
“AP has long been a pioneer in this field and is constantly innovating. This project allowed us to transport viewers to a vast hidden expanse of ocean that mankind has never previously explored, which was truly remarkable,” said Sandy MacIntyre, vice president and director of key news initiatives. “It is an honor for the Royal Television Society to recognize AP’s live broadcasting milestone with a Television Journalism Award for news technology.”
AP achieved the underwater broadcasting feat in March 2019 during the first descent by an international science team participating in a UNESCO-endorsed research mission to unlock the secrets of the depths of the Indian Ocean. AP was the only news agency to document the Nekton mission off the coast of the Seychelles.
Video was transmitted from 200 meters below the surface using the blue light region of the electromagnetic spectrum, removing the need for the submersibles and the scientists within to be tethered to fiber optic cables.
The technology was engineered by subsea communications specialist Sonardyne, with satellite transport from Inmarsat.
Also recognized at the RTS Television Journalism Awards was AP video journalist Mstyslav Chernov, who was shortlisted in the camera operator of the year category.
Chernov was named camera operator of the year at the RTS Television Journalism Awards in 2016 and was nominated in 2017 and 2018. He was named Young Talent of the Year in 2015.
The RTS Television Journalism Awards recognize creative and excellent journalism by organizations whose broadcasts are transmitted on a U.K.-based platform, or who create online video content from a U.K. production base.