Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Hey all,

ABDUCTION has been honored with one of the highest journalism awards in the US. The prestigious Dupont Award was given to the film. Directors Chris Sheridan and Patty Kim will be presented with the Silver Baton at a ceremony on Thursday, January 22nd at Columbia University in New York. The host of the event will be CBS News anchor Katie Couric. The press release is below. For more info, go to



Abi Wright, aew2113@columbia.edu, (212) 854-5047
Clare Oh, clare.oh@columbia.edu, (212) 854-5479

2009 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Winners Announced
Dallas’ WFAA Wins Highest Honor – First Local Station to Win
Awards Expand to Include Web-only Broadcasts

New York, NY, January 12, 2009—Thirteen winners of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards were announced today by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. WFAA-TV, Dallas, will receive a Gold Baton, the awards’ highest honor, for its continuing commitment to outstanding investigative reporting. It will be the first time a local station has won a Gold Baton in that award’s 20-year history.

Selected by the duPont Jury for excellence in broadcast journalism, the award-winning news programs aired in the United States between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008. The honorees will be presented with duPont Batons at a ceremony on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at Columbia University.

The duPont Jury also announced today that it is expanding the categories of entries for 2008-2009 to include Web-only news broadcasts. The Jury will look for the best example of an original news story using video or audio that is broadcast exclusively on the Web.

This year’s awards will go to news programs featuring a wide range of topics and production styles. They include international reports, such as ABC News Nightline’s gripping combat reporting in eastern Afghanistan; NPR’s breaking news coverage of the earthquake in China; CNN’s global documentation of the rise of religious fundamentalism; and a courageous report from Current TV on Russian neo-Nazis. Other programs to be honored include an illuminating California Newsreel investigation into health disparities in the United States; a prescient radio coproduction from NPR and This American Life about the subprime mortgage crisis; a chilling investigation into corrupt pediatric dental clinics by WJLA-TV, Washington, DC; and a series of reports by WTVT-TV, Tampa, that freed a wrongfully convicted man from prison.

“This remarkable and diverse group of duPont winners is a tribute to the excellent reporting done by journalists in local and national markets across the country. We honor these journalists for telling vital stories that bring critical issues to light,” said Ann Cooper, duPont Jury chair and coordinator of the broadcast department at the Journalism School.

CBS News Anchor and 60 Minutes Correspondent Katie Couric will host the awards ceremony on Thursday, January 22, 2009 in the Rotunda of Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library. Couric will be joined by NBC News Co-Anchor Hoda Kotb and Ira Glass of This American Life in presenting 13 duPont Batons at the evening ceremony.

ABC News’ Bob Woodruff interviewed several of the duPont winners for the PBS special program Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, premiering January 15. Check local listings. Telling the Truth, an annual feature on public television stations, includes excerpts of the winning duPont programs and explores how these reporters and producers develop leads, pursue their investigations, get access to for critical interviews and sometimes risk their lives to get the story. The program is produced by Will Cohen and Martin Smith of RAINmedia.

The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honoring excellence in broadcast journalism were established in 1942 by Jessie Ball duPont in memory of her 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 successful financial institution in Florida and was owner of a chain of small-town newspapers in Delaware.

The duPont Awards, administered since 1968 by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, are considered to be the most prestigious broadcast journalism awards and the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, which are also administered at the Journalism School.
Learn more about the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism at www.dupont.org.

Abi Wright
Director, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards,
John Chancellor Award
Graduate School of Journalism
Columbia University