2014 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Winners Announced — CBS and NBC Honored for Breaking News Coverage; CIR Wins Two Awards and ESPN Wins for the First Time for Investigative Reporting

Dec 18, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Press release from Columbia Journalism School, Dec. 18, 2013:

Fourteen winners of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards were announced today by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Four awards will be given for breaking news coverage including reporting by CBS News, KSHB-TV, Kansas City, NBC News and WBZ-TV, Boston.

Six of this year’s recipients featured investigative reporting including stories from KMGH-TV, Denver, WFAA-TV, Dallas, and WVUE-TV, New Orleans.

The Center for Investigative Reporting (C.I.R) will receive two awards for investigative multimedia reporting: one recognizing the cross-platform collaboration with U.C. Berkeley IRP, FRONTLINE and UNIVISION, “Rape in the Fields/Violación de un Sueño;” the second award will be given to “Broken Shield.” ESPN will be honored for the first time with a silver baton for investigative reporting.

WBEZ, Chicago’s This American Life and WYPR, Baltimore will receive awards for outstanding radio reporting. Two independent documentary films will be honored, one that appeared in theatrical release and one that was broadcast on the PBS documentary series POV.

“These journalists set standards for the profession with accomplishment and insight," said Richard Wald, duPont Jury Chair and the Fred W. Friendly Professor of Media and Society at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. "This was a year of extraordinary and difficult breaking news stories for all journalism organizations. Their response was impressive. The jury honors them and outstanding examples of investigative reporting, analysis, context and understanding that served both local and national communities in ways that make us proud."

CBS News will be honored for outstanding breaking news coverage of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, and NBC News will win an award for its special breaking news coverage “Devastation in Oklahoma” that aired on Dateline and Nightly News the day after a massive tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma. Exceptional live coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings by WBZ-TV, Boston over the course of five days, and KSHB 41 Action News, Kansas City’s ongoing breaking news coverage of an explosion at a downtown landmark restaurant will receive silver batons.

The Center for Investigative Reporting will be honored with U.C. Berkeley IRP, FRONTLINE & UNIVISION for “Rape in the Fields/ Violación de un Sueño,” a unique collaboration that produced a deeply reported cross platform documentary focusing on the sexual abuse of female migrant farm workers. CIR will also receive a second award for “Broken Shield,” a tirelessly reported multimedia investigation that exposed how authorities in California failed to defend developmentally disabled residents at state-run institutions.

ESPN will win its first duPont Award for a series of powerful investigative reports from Outside the Lines, “Youth Football Concerns,” which uncovered serious problems with youth football leagues including corruption and illegal gambling.

Two independent documentary films will win awards this year: “The Revisionaries”, from Naked Films and director Scott Thurman explores how the culture wars are being fought in America today through the inner workings of the Texas Board of Education, and “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement” from American Documentary-POV series on PBS and directors Gail Dolgin and Robin Fryday, intimately portrays of one man’s life in a way that is emblematic of the civil rights movement.

Two radio series will be honored: This American Life’s stark two-part radio series “Harper High School Parts 1 and 2” that captured the impact of gun violence on the students, staff and families of one Chicago High School, and WYPR, Baltimore’s ambitious year-long broadcast and multimedia series “The Lines Between Us” that explored inequality in Baltimore through talk programs, social media, extended interviews and digital platforms.

Outstanding local investigative reporting will be honored including KMGH-TV, Denver’s year-long investigation by reporter Keli Rabon “Colorado Rape Victims: Evidence Ignored, Justice Denied” that uncovered systematic failures in the handling of rape cases in Colorado, and WFAA-TV, Dallas with Senior Investigative Reporter Byron Harris will be honored for a relentless two-year long investigative series, “Dentacaid: Medicaid Dental Abuse in Texas,” that exposed appalling pediatric dental Medicaid fraud. WVUE-TV, New Orleans and reporter Lee Zurik will win a silver baton for an original series of reports, “Body of Evidence”, which revealed misuse of public funds, corruption and fraud.

George Stephanopoulos, the anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”, and Michel Martin, the host of NPR’s one-hour daily news and talk show Tell Me More, will host the duPont Awards ceremony on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library.

The 14 winning programs appeared on air, online or in theaters between June 30, 2012 and July 1, 2013.

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 paramount.

The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honor excellence in broadcast, digital and documentary 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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