2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award Winners Announced

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Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism today announced 16 winners of the 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards. The winners and one special finalist citation will be awarded at the January 19, 2016 award ceremony at Low Memorial Library.


There are a number of firsts this year. Four news organizations will garner their first duPont Award, and there will be one new winning platform: podcasting. Both the record number of entries and the chosen winners reflect the year’s most critical issues – civil rights, income inequality, international crises and a growing focus on the rights of transgender adults and children.


Investigative journalism will be honored with eight awards across network and cable television, audio/radio, online, newspapers and local television stations, often in overlapping platforms. Four awards will go to local television news investigations; Cronkite News/Arizona PBS, KMOV-TV, WBAL-TV and WRAL-TV.


Public broadcasting had another robust year with six awards for network long-form hours (two for FRONTLINE), series (WETA), radio (WNYC) and multimedia (Arizona PBS). One award, for WBEZ and This American Life’s wildly popular “Serial,” will be the first duPont Award in the burgeoning field of podcasts.


The broadcast networks will take home two duPonts: one each for ABC News and CBS News, while HBO will be honored with two awards. Al Jazeera America and VICE News will win their first duPont Awards. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will be honored for the first time for its digital environmental reporting, and Cronkite News/Arizona PBS will also win its first duPont for a student-professional partnership. This year, KCBS Radio will be awarded a special finalist citation.


For a full description of the winning entries, and a video announcement featuring the winners, visit www.dupont.org. Learn more about the duPont Awards and the ceremony on Twitter, #duPont2016.


The 2016 duPont winners are:


ABC News – Bruce Jenner: The Interview

A substantive, sensitive interview highlighted one of this year’s most talked about social issues – transgenderism.


Al Jazeera America & Kartemquin Films – Hard Earned

Immersive verité filmmaking invested viewers in the lives of the struggling working class through compelling human portraits.


CBS NEWS | 60 Minutes – A Crime Against Humanity

Previously unheard testimony and unseen images bore shocking witness to the 2013 Syrian sarin gas attacks.


Cronkite News | Arizona PBS – Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona

A local student-professional partnership spotlighted a flourishing but hidden heroin epidemic in Arizona.


FRONTLINE | PBS – Ebola Outbreak & Outbreak

Two separate comprehensive Ebola documentaries combined to dominate coverage of this tragic international story.


FRONTLINE | PBS – Growing Up Trans

An artful feature length documentary presented a poignant, clear-eyed examination of the complex world of transgender children.


HBO Documentary Films in association with Sky Atlantic and Jigsaw Productions – Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

A blockbuster feature length documentary exposé of Scientology challenged powerful interests head on.


HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel – The Price of Glory

An exceptional magazine investigation exposed the dark side of Qatar’s plan to host the 2022 World Cup, from buying athletes to exploiting workers.


KMOV-TV & Craig Cheatham – The Injustice System: Cops, Courts and Greedy Politicians

A rare commercial free hour gave important context to the news in Ferguson by exposing corruption in the St. Louis area’s criminal justice system.


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – A Watershed Moment: Great Lakes at a Crossroads

An informative multimedia project clearly illustrated the damage caused to the Great Lakes by invasive species.


WETA, Ark Media, Florentine Films & Laura Ziskin Pictures – Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

An ambitious documentary series tackled a challenging topic with depth, context and humanity.


VICE News – Selfie Soldiers: Russia’s Army Checks in to Ukraine

Innovative reporting tracked Russian soldiers to Ukraine through their social media accounts.


WBAL-TV & Jayne Miller – Freddie Gray Investigation

Outstanding local breaking news coverage gave up-to-the-minute reports on the death of Freddie Gray.


WBEZ & This American Life – Serial: Season One

A groundbreaking podcast series revealed the inadequacies of the criminal justice system.


WNYC – NYPD Bruised

Hard hitting investigative radio reports used data analysis to show questionable NYPD practices.


WRAL-TV – Journey Alone

An enlightening short documentary examined the surge in illegal immigration of unaccompanied minors and its impact on North Carolina.


Special Finalist Citation:


KCBS Radio – Unholy Water

An unvarnished series of investigative radio reports exposed a church systematically soaking the homeless overnight to keep them from sleeping on the church steps.


Tom Brokaw, special correspondent for NBC News, and ABC News Nightline Anchor Juju Chang will co-host the duPont Awards ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library, which will be livestreamed at bit.ly/cjslive. Brokaw’s video announcement and more information about the winners can be seen at www.dupont.org and via the Twitter hashtag #duPont2016.


The 16 winning programs and one citation appeared on air, online or in theaters between June 30, 2014 and July 1, 2015. 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, online and documentary journalism. The awards, established in 1942 by Jessie Ball duPont in memory of her husband Alfred I. duPont, are generously supported by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.


About the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

For over a century, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has been preparing journalists with instruction and training that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry, and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the School opened its doors in 1912 and offers master of science, master of arts, and doctor of philosophy degrees. Learn more at: www.journalism.columbia.edu

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