Award-Winning Coverage Will Be Featured in the Annual Documentary, TELLING THE TRUTH: THE BEST IN BROADCAST JOURNALISM, Premiering on Jan. 15 on OPB
January 12, 2009 — Today Columbia University announced that Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) was selected as one of 13 winners of the 2009 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism. Chosen from a pool of hundreds of radio and television news entries that aired in the United States between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, the award-winning journalists will be presented with the duPont silver baton on January 22 in a ceremony at Columbia University. The duPont Awards are considered the broadcast equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes.
OPB’s award-winning entry, THE SILENT INVASION: AN OREGON FIELD GUIDE SPECIAL, premiered on OPB last April. Produced by Ed Jahn, the documentary illustrates how invasive species are changing the environment in Oregon, and focuses on ways people can work together to make a difference to native fish and wildlife resources, Oregon’s economy and quality of life. The broadcast marked the kickoff of the ongoing “Stop the Invasion” campaign that encourages community partners and citizens to collaborate in their efforts to take action against invasive species. More information about THE SILENT INVASION and “Stop the Invasion” is available online at http://www.opb.org/silentinvasion.
Cinny Kennard, member of the duPont-Columbia University Award jury for excellence in broadcast journalism, noted: “THE SILENT INVASION provides great clarity about a critical environmental issue – invasive species … The jury was struck by the boldness and courage of OPB to attack such issues and then to put resources against it. The work is educational, informative and the production exemplary. Oregon Public Broadcasting has a long history of producing exceptional work, and we are thrilled to present this award to them for THE SILENT INVASION.”
“Being recognized by the duPont-Columbia Awards is one of the highest honors in broadcast journalism and a proud moment for OPB,” said Steve Bass, OPB president and CEO. “The production of THE SILENT INVASION represented a tremendous commitment of time and resources for us, but we knew it was the right thing to do. It is indeed gratifying that the importance of this effort is recognized and affirmed by duPont with this award.”
ABC’s Bob Woodruff will interview Jahn and several of the duPont winners in the special program TELLING THE TRUTH: THE BEST IN BROADCAST JOURNALISM premiering on January 15 at 10pm on OPB. This program, an annual feature on public television stations, will include excerpts of the winning programs and explore how journalists outsmart the blizzard of spin, the limitations of newsroom budgets, and the logistics of travel to dangerous locations in order to produce exemplary stories.
For a complete list of award recipients, go to:
About the duPont-Columbia University Award
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 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 have been administered since 1968 by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The school also administers the awarding of Pulitzer Prizes.
Award winners receive batons designed by the late American architect Louis I. Kahn. The batons are inscribed with the 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.” (Excerpted from Murrow’s address to the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Chicago, October 15, 1958.)
OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors and illuminate a wider world. Every week, over 1.5 million people tune in to or log on to OPB’s Television, Radio and Internet delivered services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. OPB is one of the largest producers and presenters of national television programming through PBS, and is also a member station of NPR, Public Radio International (PRI) and American Public Media (APM). The OPB Web site is opb.org.