| The baton was designed by architect Louis I. Kahn and is inscribed with a famous observation about the power of television by the late Edward R. Murrow: "This instrument can teach; it can illuminate; yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box."
Columbia University announced today the winners of the 2005 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism. Thirteen silver batons for excellence in television and radio journalism will be awarded to local stations, networks, radio, cable and independently produced programs that aired in the United States between July 1, 2003 , and June 30, 2004 . The awards ceremony will be held Jan. 13 at Columbia University.
Five of the 13 winners powerfully portray world events and their relation to the United States in ways that resonate deeply with American viewers. Several news organizations won for reports that enrich understanding of historical events, still others for programs that question government authorities on issues of homeland security and racial profiling. This year's pool of 588 entries was also significant for its particularly strong submissions from local television stations.
Co-hosts of the ceremony will be Gwen Ifill, senior correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, and Lesley Stahl, co- editor of the CBS News program 60 Minutes . Joining them in presenting the silver batons will be Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger and Journalism School Dean Nicholas Lemann. A one-hour documentary about the winners, Without Fear or Favor: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, hosted by George Stephanopoulos, will be broadcast nationwide on PBS stations beginning Jan. 24.
"Broadcast news organizations often take the position that audiences are not interested in international stories. Yet never has an understanding of what happens overseas mattered so much to Americans," said David A. Klatell, duPont jury chairman and vice dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. "Five of the 13 winners are compelling reports about international issues that use the power of television and radio to draw the audience right into the stories."
The award winners are:
ABC News and PJ Productions for Jesus and Paul: The Word and the Witness, a three-hour primetime documentary about the origins of Christianity
ABC News and Primetime Thursday for the Nuclear Smuggling Project, an investigative test of port security by shipping uranium into the United States
David Appleby and The University of Memphis for Hoxie: The First Stand on PBS, a documentary about the early effort to integrate schools in Hoxie, Arkansas
Frontline and WGBH-TV for Ghosts of Rwanda on PBS, a two-hour documentary examining the international ramifications of genocide in Rwanda
Frontline and WGBH-TV for Truth, War and Consequences on PBS, a 90-minute report on the planning and execution of the war in Iraq
HBO/CINEMAX Reel Life, Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes for The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt, a poignant documentary about a you ng presidential candidate in Colombia campaigning against violence and corruption
Louisiana Public Broadcasting for Louisiana: Currents of Change, a one-hour documentary about Louisiana history and its central character, the Mississippi River
MSNBC and National Geographic Ultimate Explorer for Liberia : American Dream? a two-hour eyewitness report on civil war in Liberia and the overthrow of President Charles Taylor
NBC News and Dateline for A Pattern of Suspicion, an investigative report on racial profiling by policemen in Cincinnati and other cities
NPR and Radio Diaries for Mandela: An Audio History, a five-part radio documentary about Nelson Mandela's struggle to overturn apartheid
WBAP-AM, Dallas for JFK 40, a riveting series of live radio reports and reflections on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy Jr.
WCNC-TV, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Medicaid Dental Centers Investigation, a series of 11 investigative reports on Medicaid dental centers
WFAA-TV, Dallas for State of Denial, a 13-part investigation of how insurance companies denied medical claims for work-related injuries
The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honoring overall excellence in broadcast journalism were established in 1942 by Jessie Ball duPont in memory of her late husband, Alfred I. duPont. With his cousins, duPont transformed their gunpowder company into the chemical company E.I. duPont de Nemours. He later created a separate successful financial institution of his own in Florida and was owner of a chain of small-town, liberal newspapers in Delaware. The duPont Awards, administered since 1968 by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, are considered the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, which the Journalism School also administers.