2013 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Winners Announced

Dec 19, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Press release, Dec. 19, 2012:

Fourteen winners of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards were announced today by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Five of this year’s recipients featured international reporting including stories from CBS News, Current TV, FRONTLINE on PBS, and NPR. For the first time, two awards will be given to documentary films in theatrical release: one to “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,” and one to “Bully.”

USA Today will receive its first duPont Award for multimedia reporting, and StoryCorps
will win its first duPont silver baton. Five awards will go to local television and radio
stations: KCET, KLAS-TV, WVUE-TV, WXYZ-TV and a partnership with witf, WHYY
and NPR.

“This exceptional group of journalists represents the best of broadcast, documentary and
digital news reporting today,” said Bill Wheatley, outgoing duPont Jury chair, former
executive vice president of NBC News and adjunct faculty member at Columbia’s
Graduate School of Journalism. “These groundbreaking stories set the standard for
excellent reporting; journalists gained access and insight into critical issues in the public
interest, and they are telling these important stories in new ways. Collaborating news
organizations are also producing outstanding work.”

CBS News will be honored for Foreign Correspondent Clarissa Ward’s courageous
reporting from inside Syria on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and NPR will
be honored for outstanding news coverage of the bloody uprising in Syria from
Correspondents Deb Amos and Kelly McEvers. FRONTLINE on PBS will win two
awards; the first for “The Interrupters,” a moving documentary film about inner city
violence and efforts to combat it with dignity, and a second award for “Opium Brides,” a
wrenching report from Najibullah Quraishi about the unintended human cost of
Afghanistan’s opium eradication campaign. Current TV, Christof Putzel and the Renaud
Brothers will be honored for “Vanguard: Arming the Mexican Cartel,” a gritty
investigation into the Mexican drug war and the flow of guns into Mexico from the
United States.

Two independent documentary films in theatrical release will win awards this year: “Ai
Weiwei: Never Sorry” from director Alison Klayman about the extraordinary artist and
social justice in China, and “Bully,” a film by director Lee Hirsch that reveals what it is
like to grow up as an underdog in America today.

USA Today will win an award for its outstanding investigative multimedia report “Ghost
Factories.” The interactive report uncovered hundreds of forgotten lead factories across
the country and the health hazards they left behind. StoryCorps will receive a duPont
Award with NPR and POV for “StoryCorps 9/11,” an innovative and authentic series of
remembrances of the human toll of the attacks on September 11, 2001 told through radio
stories with an animated series.

Excellent local reporting will be honored from the ambitious series of reports “Desert
Underwater” that exposed the root causes and effects of Nevada’s ongoing mortgage
crisis from KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, to a model series of investigative reports from
WXYZ-TV, Detroit, “Wayne County Confidential” that uncovered government
corruption, KCET, Southern California’s exclusive report “SoCal Connected: Courting
Disaster” from inside Los Angeles’ beleaguered Dependency Court, and two outstanding
investigative series that spotlighted corruption past and present in New Orleans on
WVUE-TV, New Orleans – “Dirty Deeds” and “Hiding Behind the Badge.”

Other awards include an important series of radio and web-based reports “StateImpact
Pennsylvania” produced in partnership between witf and WHYY, local public radio
stations, and NPR that showed the significant impact of natural gas fracking on
Pennsylvania residents.

Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent and global affairs
anchor for ABC News, and Byron Pitts, contributor to CBS News “60 Minutes” and
chief national correspondent for the CBS Evening News, will host the duPont Awards
ceremony on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at Columbia University’s Low Memorial

The 14 winning programs appeared on air, online or in theaters between June 30, 2011
and July 1, 2012. The duPont Awards annual screening process is rigorous. Two groups
of screeners made up of past winners, media professionals and educators, a total of over
100 people, screened the entries before the winners were selected by the duPont Jury in
early November.

The duPont Jury looks for accurate and fair reporting about important issues that are
powerfully told. Breaking news coverage, innovative storytelling and content, and stories
that have an impact in the public interest are also paramount.

The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honor excellence in broadcast and
digital journalism and were established in 1942 by Jessie Ball duPont in memory of her
husband, Alfred I. duPont. The awards are generously supported by the Jessie Ball
duPont Fund.

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