Netflix, HBO, Nat Geo Among DuPont Award Winners

The Columbia University Journalism School has named its 2018 Alfred I. duPont - Columbia University Awards recipients, with Netflix new to the winners circle.

Five of the awards, given for journalistic excellence, went to local TV stations, including two for Tegna-owned stations; three to commercial broadcast networks; two to PBS; and two to cable networks. Streaming service Netflix's award was for 13TH, the critically acclaimed documentary about the targeting of African Americans by the legal system as criminals, directed by Ava DuVernay.

The annual juried awards recognize excellence in broadcast, digital and documentary journalism. About a dozen news stories and films are honored each year for the strength of their reporting, storytelling and impact in the public interest.

The cable networks honored were HBO, for Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, and National Geographic Networks. CBS News's two included one for 60 Minutes in its 50th year, and ABC received one for a documentary on the Los Angeles riots. PBS's awards were for Frontline and World Channel.

Five local TV stations were honored for investigative reporting: ABC15 Arizona (Phoenix) for exposing abuse of the Americans with Disabilities Act; KARE 11 (Minneapolis) for three separate hard-hitting investigative stories; KHOU-TV (Houston) for revealing Houston’s wasteful police body camera program; KNTV (San Jose, Calif.) for an investigative series that chronicled the misuse of school police officers to discipline students; and WITI-TV (Milwaukee) for bravely challenging public opinion about laws intended to safeguard children that paradoxically may put them at greater risk.

“Like many of our Tegna stations, KARE and KHOU have produced incredibly meaningful work that impacts the lives of many," said Tegna president David Lougee. "Their projects are strong examples of the positive impact of local journalism on communities and the importance of storytelling for the public interest. We are committed to continuing to invest in our local stations to ensure they have the journalistic freedom to pursue investigations that make communities stronger without bias or agenda.”

Stacy Owen, president and general manager of KNTV, said: “We are honored to be recognized with this very important award and proud that our investigative unit helped to inspire security changes at schools in our own backyard and all across the country. The sweeping changes that resulted from our investigation reinforces our station’s mission of shining a light on questionable practices and holding the powerful accountable to make the Bay Area a better place to live for all.”

The awards will be given out Jan. 16, hosted by CBS This Morning's Gayle King and CNN's Jake Tapper.

Click here for a list of all the winners and their stories.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.