Alfred I. duPont Awards: PBS Leads Pack With Four Wins

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Columbia University handed out its 2022 Alfred I. duPont Awards Tuesday evening, which honor excellence in broadcast and digital journalism.

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and PBS Newshour anchor Judy Woodruff announced the winners in a virtual ceremony.

“This ceremony is happening as we head into year three of a global pandemic. With the evolving challenges we are all facing, it only serves as a reminder about how important our work as journalists really is to inform the public and hold the powerful accountable,” said Gupta during the show’s opening remarks.

“We’ve continued to be tested in ways we never expected by this pandemic that has upended lives, touched every corner of human existence and forced us to reorder priorities and rethink the way we do our work,” Woodruff added. “Despite it all, we continue to witness great reporting being done — profound and consequential investigative work and storytelling that transports us to places that would otherwise have gone unseen. I’ve never been more proud to be a journalist than I am at the start of this new year.”

PBS led all honorees with 4 duPont Awards, including wins for Philly D.A., the docu-series about Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner, the POV documentaries Through The Night and Softie, and an investigation called Wasteland, which Frontline produced in conjunction with NPR and Planet Money.

CBS News also won for Norah O’Donnell’s reporting on sexual assault in the U.S. military.

Other winners included The New York Times for its documentary Day of Rage, about the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, Vice News for its doc about the 2020 Beirut port explosion, Apple and Jigsaw Productions for the podcast The Line, Amazon Studios and Participant Media for My Name is Pauli Murray.

Local stations that won duPont Awards included KXTV Sacramento, KNXV Phoenix, KNTV Bay Area and KARE Minneapolis.

The duPont Awards were founded in 1942, and are sometimes viewed as a companion to the Pulitzer Prizes, which are also awarded by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, but focus on written and musical work.

The full list of winners is below.

99% Invisible | Stitcher Media | PRX
According to Need

This insightful podcast series and reporter Katie Mingle gave listeners intimate access to the homeless and to the bureaucracy intended to help them, revealing a frustrating system with complex rules, inadequate resources, and little agreement about how to identify those most in need.

The HISTORY Channel | WNYC Studios | KOSU
Blindspot: Tulsa Burning

An immersive, deeply reported six-part podcast series hosted by KalaLea that depicted the biggest race massacre since the Civil War placed powerful eyewitness voices at the heart of a century-old narrative, and posed an urgent question: What would it take for history to stop repeating itself?

The New York Times
Day of Rage: How Trump Supporters Took the U.S. Capitol

By gathering hundreds of audio and video files recording the January 6th attack on the Capitol from every conceivable angle, a forensics team from The New York Times meticulously recreated the definitive story of how the riot unfolded.

KXTV Sacramento & Brandon Rittiman
FIRE – POWER – MONEY: Holding PG&E Accountable

A powerful series of stories from reporter Brandon Rittiman sought to force accountability by California utility monopoly PG&E, and played an integral part in the company pleading guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter for its role in the devastating 2018 Camp Fire.

HBO Documentary Films
In The Same Breath

Director Nanfu Wang traced the Covid pandemic’s origin and spread from its outbreak in Wuhan to its rampage across the United States in a meditative and incisive inquiry that also questioned the pandemic of disinformation, authoritarian tendencies and agendas.

KARE11 Minneapolis/St. Paul & A.J. Lagoe
Cruel & Unusual
2020-2021

Reporter A.J. Lagoe’s investigative series revealed how cost cutting in Minnesota prisons’ medical and mental health care resulted in a culture of neglect and dehumanization, and a shocking uptick in jailhouse deaths.

CBS News
Military Sexual Assault: Norah O’Donnell Investigates

This sustained investigative series by CBS News that included interviews with nearly two dozen survivors of sexual assault, whistleblowers and families of suicide victims revealed that despite the Pentagon’s pledge of zero tolerance ten years ago, the military’s sexual assault crisis is worse than ever.

Amazon Studios | Participant Media | Storyville Films
My Name Is Pauli Murray

So far ahead of their time, activist, lawyer, priest and author Pauli Murray comes to life through their own writing and audio diaries in this feature length documentary, as they put forth ideas too revolutionary for even the most forward thinking during the civil rights era.

PBS | Independent Lens | Topic
Philly D.A.

This riveting eight-part documentary series embedded viewers inside the long shot election and tumultuous first term of Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s unapologetically progressive district attorney, and his experiment to upend the criminal justice system from the inside out.

KNXV Phoenix & Dave Biscobing
Full Disclosure & Politically Charged

Reporter Dave Biscobing’s investigations of the Phoenix Police Department relentlessly connected the dots to depict a police force operating like a police state, simmering with racist and political resentment, and rife with malfeasance.

POV on PBS| American Documentary, Inc | LBx Africa
Softie
2020-2021

This inspiring and compelling documentary from Director Sam Soko profiled a young activist turned political candidate who put country above family and his life on the line in his determination to change the corrupt political system in Kenya.

Apple | Jigsaw Productions
The Line
2020-2021

The Line, hosted by Dan Taberski, is a fascinating, deeply reported podcast series that offered a reassessment of the events surrounding the war crimes trial of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, as well as a window into secretive culture of the SEALs and similar elite military units.

NBC Bay Area (KNTV)
The Moms of Magnolia Street
2020-2021

This longform series explored contemporary redlining by following a group of unhoused working mothers as they took over a vacant property on Oakland’s Magnolia Street, demanded housing as a human right, and took a stand against one of the nation’s largest real estate speculators.

VICE NEWS
The Shockwave

Through brilliant use of CCTV footage, this harrowing and deeply moving documentary followed the
devastating August 2020 explosion in the Port of Beirut from the vantage point of nearby Saint George’s Hospital, where doctors and nurses struggled to save lives amidst the rubble.

POV on PBS | American Documentary, Inc | Third Shift Media
Through the Night

Director Loira Limbal’s film is as intimate and gentle as a lullaby, even as it exposes serious societal flaws by immersing viewers in a family-run day care operation that is the only safety net in a community where women work multiple jobs, often overnight, to survive.

NPR | Planet Money | FRONTLINE on PBS & Laura Sullivan
Waste Land

In this revelatory podcast episode, reporter Laura Sullivan tracked down retired industry lobbyists to expose a decades-long marketing scam that convinced consumers that plastic products are far more recyclable than they really are.

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