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Columbia University Announces 2007 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Broadcast News Award Winners

Christiane Amanpour
Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, hosts the PBS documentary
Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism. The documentary premieres in New York City on Thirteen/WNET on Jan. 22 at 10:00 p.m.

Photo by Brent Stirton

Columbia University on Saturday announced 14 winners of the 2007 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism. The winners, who will be presented with their silver batons on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at Columbia University, are featured in the annual PBS documentary Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, hosted this year by Christiane Amanpour.  (PBS feed on January 18. Please check local listings).

Chosen from a pool of 526 radio and television news entries that aired in the United States between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2006, this year's duPont winners covered some of the most critical issues of that period including the Iraq War, the devastation of Katrina, the Arab-Israeli peace process, and the global AIDS crisis.  Other award-winning foreign and local news stories covered a broad range of topics from the desperate lives of North Korean refugees, to poverty on Cape Cod, environmental pollution in Maryland, and a biography of Bob Dylan in the 60s.

Public broadcasting, both television and radio, dominated the awards, garnering seven of the fourteen batons. NBC News was the only network news operation to win a duPont Award this year.  Other national winners were HBO and the Discovery Times Channel.  Local affiliates of NBC and ABC were also honored along with two CBS local stations. NPR's foreign desk and a series by public radio serving Cape Cod and The Islands were the only two winners among radio reports. 

"International coverage was particularly strong this year," said David Klatell, chairman of the duPont jury and vice dean of Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, which administers the awards.  "The jury found that the war in Iraq was covered from many compelling perspectives including NPR's courageous reports from that embattled country, a riveting HBO documentary on the physical and emotional casualties in Baghdad ER, and an unflinching report by California public television's program California Connected about the toll on veterans with brain injuries, the signature casualty of this war."

Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, a special one-hour PBS documentary, includes dramatic excerpts from these award-winning reports and insightful interviews with many of this year's duPont winners.The documentary is written and produced again this year by Martin Smith, a former duPont winner well known for public television documentaries on FRONTLINE.  

The awards ceremony on Jan. 17 at Columbia will be hosted by Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR, and Lisa Myers, senior investigative correspondent, NBC News. Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger and Journalism Dean Nicholas Lemann will join them in presenting the silver batons.

The 2007 duPont-Columbia Award Winners are:

  • AMERICAN MASTERS and WNET, New York, for Bob Dylan: No Direction Home on PBS
  • Brook Lapping Productions, London, for Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace on PBS
  • WGBH's Cape and Islands NPR Stations for Two Cape Cods: Hidden Poverty on the Cape and Islands
  • Discovery Times Channel, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The New York Times for Nuclear Jihad: Can Terrorists Get the Bomb?
  • FRONTLINE and WGBH, Boston,for The Age of AIDS on PBS
  • HBO, Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neillfor Baghdad ER
  • ITVS, Lisa Sleeth and Jim Butterworth for INDEPENDENT LENS: Seoul Train on PBS
  • NBC Nightly News and Dateline for Coverage of Hurricane Katrina
  • KCET, Los Angeles, KPBS, San Diego, KQED, San Francisco, KVIE, Sacramento, for California Connected: War Stories from Ward 7-D
  • NPR for Coverage of Iraq
  • WBAL-TV, Baltimore, for Dirty Secret
  • WLOX-TV, Biloxi, for Coverage of Hurricane Katrina
  • WRAL-TV, Raleigh, for Focal Point: Paper Thin Promise and Standards of Living
  • WWL-TV, New Orleans, for Coverage of Hurricane Katrina

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, Mr. 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 are also administered at the Journalism School.

For more on this year's duPont Award Winners, visit www.jrn.columbia.edu/events/dupont/.

Related Links:

Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism
http://www.jrn.columbia.edu/

2006 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Winners
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/news/05/12/duPont_winners.html

Published: Jan 13, 2007
Last modified: Jun 05, 2007