KCET's story on Los Angeles County's dependency courts was one of 14 winners of Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards announced this morning at Columbia. This is big in the world of broadcast news, considered by some to be their Pulitzers. "Courting Disaster" took more than a year of wrangling with officials to get inside the courts where the futures of children and families are decided. I'm told the segment will re-air tonight on "SoCal Connected." The team includes producer Karen Foshay, correspondent Jennifer London, editor Michael Bloecher and videographers Dan Caston, Brett Wood and Kenny Gioseffi. Bret Marcus is the executive producer and Justine Schmidt the co-executive producer.
Here's the piece from last March.
'SoCal Connected' also won a duPont-Columbia Award in 2011. That one wad for stories on city regulations of marijuana distribution, worker safety regulations at Cal/OSHA and mandatory flood zone designations in parts of LA.
More on the duPont winners:
CBS News will be honored for Foreign Correspondent Clarissa Ward’s courageous reporting from inside Syria on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, and NPR will be honored for outstanding news coverage of the bloody uprising in Syria from Correspondents Deb Amos and Kelly McEvers. FRONTLINE on PBS will win two awards; the first for “The Interrupters,” a moving documentary film about inner city violence and efforts to combat it with dignity, and a second award for “Opium Brides,” a wrenching report from Najibullah Quraishi about the unintended human cost of Afghanistan’s opium eradication campaign. Current TV, Christof Putzel and the Renaud Brothers will be honored for “Vanguard: Arming the Mexican Cartel,” a gritty investigation into the Mexican drug war and the flow of guns into Mexico from the United States.
Two independent documentary films in theatrical release will win awards this year: “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” from director Alison Klayman about the extraordinary artist and social justice in China, and “Bully,” a film by director Lee Hirsch that reveals what it is like to grow up as an underdog in America today.
USA Today will win an award for its outstanding investigative multimedia report “Ghost Factories.” The interactive report uncovered hundreds of forgotten lead factories across the country and the health hazards they left behind. StoryCorps will receive a duPont Award with NPR and POV for “StoryCorps 9/11,” an innovative and authentic series of remembrances of the human toll of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 told through radio stories with an animated series.
Excellent local reporting will be honored from the ambitious series of reports “Desert Underwater” that exposed the root causes and effects of Nevada’s ongoing mortgage crisis from KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, to a model series of investigative reports from WXYZ-TV, Detroit, “Wayne County Confidential” that uncovered government corruption, KCET, Southern California’s exclusive report “SoCal Connected: Courting Disaster” from inside Los Angeles’ beleaguered Dependency Court, and two outstanding investigative series that spotlighted corruption past and present in New Orleans on WVUE-TV, New Orleans—“Dirty Deeds” and “Hiding Behind the Badge.”
Other awards include an important series of radio and web-based reports “StateImpact Pennsylvania” produced in partnership between witf and WHYY, local public radio stations and NPR that showed the significant impact of natural gas fracking on Pennsylvania residents.