NPR Wins Three duPont Awards
NPR and public radio partners will receive three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. NPR for coverage of the conflict in Syria; StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration of NPR and member stations WHYY and WITF, for coverage of energy issues; and programming produced by StoryCorps and NPR for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The awards will be presented January 22, 2013, at Columbia University in New York.
Reporting by NPR on the ongoing conflict in Syria – led by international correspondents Kelly McEvers, based in Beirut, and Deb Amos, a roving correspondent who’s spent three decades covering the region – is being honored for capturing the pace and gravity of the growing uprising from its birth. On frequent reporting trips into Syria and from the border in Turkey and Lebanon, McEvers and Amos brought clarity and context to a volatile and rapidly changing story. Their deep, contextual reporting – from interviews with Assad regime officials, to a report on children singing the praises of Bashar Assad in neighboring Lebanon, to the discovery of an unexpected unity among Christians and Muslims – gave voice to the conflict for millions of listeners and illuminated the numerous sectarian factions ensnared in the conflict. McEvers and Amos share this award with international editors Edith Chapin and Doug Roberts.
Honored for outstanding coverage of energy issues is StateImpact Pennsylvania, one of eight partnerships between NPR and Member stations dedicated to public policy reporting on-air and online. This collaboration between NPR and reporters Scott Detrow of WITF Harrisburg and Susan Phillips of WHYY Philadelphia provided extensive coverage of the gas drilling boom in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, focusing on the fiscal, environmental and social impact of the state’s energy economy. The “Shale Play” interactive – a data-driven visual companion to a series of reports – plots and tracks nearly 9,000 gas wells, showing who owns each well and what, if any, environmental violations have occurred. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s cross-platform reporting exemplifies what this type of partnership can accomplish: explanatory, data-driven stories focused on how policy affects people’s lives.
NPR shares a duPont Award with StoryCorps, which is being honored for its innovative and authentic remembrances of the human toll of 9/11, produced and broadcast for the 10th anniversary of the attacks. In addition to moving tributes during Morning Edition, NPR and StoryCorps co-produced “We Remember: StoryCorps Stories from 9/11,” an hour-long special that took an intimate look at lives forever changed by the attacks on 9/11 – and reconnected with individuals interviewed ten years prior to hear where they are now. Host Audie Cornish presented stories from families and friends who spoke about their loved ones and incredible loss: the father who recalled the last words he shared with his son, the recovery worker who discovered a new meaning for normal, the fireman’s daughter who knew that her dad who perished in the line of duty wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
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. Administered since 1968 by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, the awards are considered the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, which the Journalism School also administers.