ABC and CNN will pick up two of the 13 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards in 2009. The duPont Awards are given out each year for excellence in broadcast journalism.
ABC News (Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger) won for Nightline’s “The Other War: Afghanistan” and CNN and Christiane Amanpour for, “God’s Warriors.”
Katie Couric hosts the awards ceremony on January 22.
NBC and CBS won duPont Awards in 2008.
> Update: ABC News clarifies: “ABC News ‘Nightline’ is to be awarded with an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for the program’s ‘Afghanistan: The Other War’ reported by ABC’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross and Producers Madeleine Sauer and Steven Baker. For this report, ‘Nightline’ partnered with ‘Vanity Fair.'”
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New York, NY, January 12, 2009â€”Thirteen winners of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia
University Awards were announced today by Columbia University’s Graduate School of
Journalism. WFAA-TV, Dallas, will receive a Gold Baton, the awards’ highest honor, for its
continuing commitment to outstanding investigative reporting. It will be the first time a local
station has won a Gold Baton in that award’s 20-year history.
Selected by the duPont Jury for excellence in broadcast journalism, the award-winning news
programs aired in the United States between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008. The honorees will
be presented with duPont Batons at a ceremony on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at Columbia
The duPont Jury also announced today that it is expanding the categories of entries for 2008-
2009 to include Web-only news broadcasts. The Jury will look for the best example of an
original news story using video or audio that is broadcast exclusively on the Web.
This year’s awards will go to news programs featuring a wide range of topics and production
styles. They include international reports, such as ABC News Nightline’s gripping combat
reporting in eastern Afghanistan; NPR’s breaking news coverage of the earthquake in China;
CNN’s global documentation of the rise of religious fundamentalism; and a courageous report
from Current TV on Russian neo-Nazis. Other programs to be honored include an illuminating
California Newsreel investigation into health disparities in the United States; a prescient radio
coproduction from NPR and This American Life about the subprime mortgage crisis; a chilling
investigation into corrupt pediatric dental clinics by WJLA-TV, Washington, DC; and a series of
reports by WTVT-TV, Tampa, that freed a wrongfully convicted man from prison.
“This remarkable and diverse group of duPont winners is a tribute to the excellent reporting done
by journalists in local and national markets across the country. We honor these journalists for
telling vital stories that bring critical issues to light,” said Ann Cooper, duPont Jury chair and
coordinator of the broadcast department at the Journalism School.
CBS News Anchor and 60 Minutes Correspondent Katie Couric will host the awards ceremony
on Thursday, January 22, 2009 in the Rotunda of Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library.
Couric will be joined by NBC News Co-Anchor Hoda Kotb and Ira Glass of This American
Life in presenting 13 duPont Batons at the evening ceremony.
ABC News’ Bob Woodruff interviewed several of the duPont winners for the PBS special
program Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, premiering January 15. Check
local listings. Telling the Truth, an annual feature on public television stations, includes excerpts
of the winning duPont programs and explores how these reporters and producers develop leads,
pursue their investigations, get access to for critical interviews and sometimes risk their lives to
get the story. The program is produced by Will Cohen and Martin Smith of RAINmedia.
The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honoring excellence in broadcast journalism
were established in 1942 by Jessie Ball duPont in memory of her husband, Alfred I. duPont.
With his cousins, Mr. duPont transformed their gunpowder company into the chemical company
E.I. duPont de Nemours. He later created a successful financial institution in Florida and was
owner of a chain of small-town newspapers in Delaware.
The duPont Awards, administered since 1968 by Columbia University’s Graduate School of
Journalism, are considered to be the most prestigious broadcast journalism awards and the
equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, which are also administered at the Journalism School.
Learn more about the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast
journalism at www.dupont.org.