Katie Couric Wins duPont Award for Sarah Palin Interviews

By Chris Ariens 

CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Katie Couric has won the Alfred I. duPont Award for political reporting for her 2008 interviews with GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced this morning.

CBS News also won a second duPont Award for the multi-platform series “Children of the Recession.”


Other winners include HBO, PBS and local stations WWL in New Orleans, WTVF in Nashville, KMGH in Denver and Miami’s WSVN, once home to CNN’s Rick Sanchez.

PBS’s Gwen Ifill hosts the awards ceremony Thursday, Jan. 21, at Columbia University. NBC’s Richard Engel — a 2008 duPont winner — will present the duPont batons to the 14 winners.

Couric, this week reporting from Haiti, hosted last year’s ceremony. She’s already been awarded the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence from USC for the Palin interviews.

&bull More: After the jump, CBS News & Sports president Sean McManus’ note to staff, obtained by TVNewser. “A testament to Katie’s excellence, the interviews have gone on to become an iconic moment in television journalism.”

From: McManus, Sean
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 11:15 AM
To: @CND News
Cc: Moonves, Leslie
Subject: Message from Sean McManus

Today, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University journalism award-winners were announced. I am proud to announce that CBS News has been recognized with two of the prestigious awards and it is with pleasure that I congratulate you all – the entire News Division! No other network news division won even one award this year and it is the first time in 5 years that any network news division has won 2.
Each of the two awards should make us uniquely proud. One of the coveted silver batons was earned for Katie Couric’s series of pivotal interviews with Republican vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin which was broadcast on the CBS EVENING NEWS. Katie’s interviews had a profound impact on the presidential campaign. A testament to Katie’s excellence, the interviews have gone on to become an iconic moment in television journalism.

For this award, please join me in congratulating Katie, executive producer Rick Kaplan, producers Matt Lombardi and Jennifer Yuille, editors Joe Frandino and Mike Cesario, coordinating producer Lori Beecher and associate producer Brian Goldsmith.

The other award is for the division-wide collaboration “CBS REPORTS: Children of the Recession,” which began in Spring 2009. Presented across all CBS News platforms, the series examined the many effects of the economic crisis on young people. Because of the entire division’s cooperation, we told an important yet underreported story and reinvigorated the venerated CBS REPORTS brand with an updated format worthy of the storied original.

For this award, rather than congratulate individuals, I congratulate the entire News Division, including CBS News Radio and CBSNews.com. This was a brilliant execution of an experimental idea. I also want to acknowledge our print partner, USA Today, who helped us reach new audiences with this important project and who is once again collaborating with us on CBS REPORTS: Where America Stands.
These two batons bring the cumulative total of duPont awards for CBS News or its reporters to 48, the most won by any network.

Congratulations to you all.