MEDIA
11/06/2014 11:19 am ET Updated Nov 06, 2014

CNN Wins Award For Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Coverage

You might not have liked CNN's Malaysia Airlines plane coverage this year, but the network just brought home an award for it.

CNN received the award for best "Live Television Journalism" for its coverage of the Malaysia Airlines flight 17 at the 2014 Association for International Broadcasting awards in London Wednesday night.

The network was praised for its aggressive reporting on the downing of MH17 over Ukraine, often being first to the scene of disaster and conducting powerful interviews on Russia's role in the investigation.

But CNN attracted a herd of media critics in March for its coverage of missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which the network obsessively followed round-the-clock. News anchors, comedians, journalists and other media personalities bashed the network for its exhausting, frequently over-the-top coverage of the plane while offering very little new information at times. The Washington Post's Erik Wemple called it "a no-news news story" and BuzzFeed's Dorsey Shaw calculated that the network spent 256 out of 271 broadcast minutes on the plane in one day. Jon Stewart and Bill Maher also lampooned the network, while images of Don Lemon holding a toy plane, and anchors testing theories in the flight simulator, became fodder for social media.

Still, the network saw it's continual coverage pay off. Ratings surged -- nearly doubling in prime time. In March, CNN became the fastest growing network in all of television, touted Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide.

And plane coverage wasn't the only reason CNN had to celebrate on Wednesday.
All in all, the network left with three victories at the awards event, including best "Short News Report" and best "Television Personality of the Year," for Richard Quest.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that CNN won an award for its coverage of Malaysia Airlines flight 370. The award was for coverage of flight MH17.

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