On Monday night, for the first time in three years, the duPont-Columbia Awards took place in person and PBS Newshour, CBS News’ 60 Minutes, CNN, and ABC News Studios all came out as winners.
CNN and PBS NewsHour earned two awards each as they were both honored for their Ukraine coverage.
Hosted by CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell and PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz at the Low Memorial Library at Columbia University, the awards recognized 16 winners for their work which covered breaking news coverage of the deadly international conflict in Ukraine and Afghanistan to impactful local and national investigations, exposing threats to national security and holding the powerful.
PBS NewsHour won for their Coverage of the Fall of Afghanistan and the War in Ukraine. PBS NewsHour correspondent Jane Ferguson’s in-depth and courageous coverage tracked the fate of Afghanistan in the months leading up to the American troop withdrawal, and the immediate impact as the Taliban regained control.
In Ukraine, it was recognized for its report on the huge impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with reporters and producers spread out across Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, and Russia.
CNN won for its Ukraine coverage which it captured from the moment the first shots were fired in Ukraine. The network’s coverage was sweeping and in-depth, from live-breaking coverage on the frontlines to following millions of refugees as they fled across Europe and witnessing the everyday lives of Ukrainians months after the initial invasion.
CNN also won its Navalny documentary produced in conjunction with HBO Max, providing an extraordinary window into the complicated life and attempted assassination of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. This compelling documentary was there as his team worked to identify and expose the secret Russian intelligence team members that shadowed and poisoned him.
CBS News’ 60 Minutes won for its National Security in the Information Age report, which comprised four related stories reported by Bill Whitaker that documented in chilling terms the clear and present danger of ongoing cyber attacks, primarily by Russia, to this country’s infrastructure and national security.
ABC News Studios and Hulu won for their documentary Leave No Trace: Hidden History of The Boy Scouts, which exposed the deliberate protection of pedophile scoutmasters within its ranks and the damage done to thousands of boys.
“Tonight’s honorees are recognized for the quality of their work … this truly phenomenal journalism. But we also want to recognize the courage it took to embark on reporting these difficult stories and the doggedness to complete them,” O’Donnell said as she paid tribute to the winners.
Nawaz congratulated the winners and added, “I know there are students from Columbia’s Journalism school also here in the room tonight. My father was a student here 50 years ago. He was a journalist in Pakistan, and a scholarship to the J-school is what brought him to the U.S. He taught me to always ask tough questions, to listen carefully, to choose my words wisely. That’s what makes good journalism, and that is why we need at this moment in history more good journalism.”