2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Winners Announced | Columbia Journalism School

2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award Winners Announced

CBS News and PBS each win two Awards; Netflix honored

Gayle King (CBS) and Jake Tapper (CNN) to co-host the ceremony, Jan. 16, 2018


Columbia Journalism School today announced the 16 winners of the 2018 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards. The winners will be awarded at Low Memorial Library, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018.

This year’s duPont-Columbia winners reflect the current news media landscape: a mix of both legacy journalism and emerging platforms, including several combinations of both. While ten video awards will go to traditional outlets — three broadcast networks and five local stations — duPont will also honor media newcomer Netflix and filmmaker Ava DuVernay for the powerful feature-length documentary, “13th.” One network winner, ABC News, also partnered with a Hollywood luminary, John Ridley, to produce another outstanding work that spotlighted the racial divide — the documentary “Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992,” released first theatrically and then broadcast.

Two of the three audio winners, from This American Life and Reveal, offered their programming as both broadcasts and podcasts, as audio and video journalists continue to stretch their reach. This American Life wins for its coverage of the split within the Republican Party, and Reveal for human rights reporting in Russia. The topical and trendsetting podcast from The New York Times — “The Daily” — will also be honored this year.

“At a challenging time for the news media,” said Jury Chair Cheryl Gould, “we were gratified to see both new platforms strengthen their journalism muscles, and traditional outlets maintain their vigorous reporting standards.”

Other broadcast networks awarded this year include two batons for CBS News; for the tenacious Syrian war coverage of veteran correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, and for a two-part 60 Minutes report from inside the U.S. nuclear arsenal. PBS will win two awards; one to FRONTLINE for the epic documentary “Exodus,” which traces the route of refugees into Europe. The other will go to WORLD Channel’s “America ReFramed: Class of ‘27,” compelling profiles of the benefits of early education.

Two cable outlets will also take home batons, one to HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel for its global investigation into the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and another to National Geographic Networks for “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS.”

The five local television stations receiving silver batons for investigative reporting are: ABC15 Arizona for exposing abuse of the Americans with Disabilities Act; KARE 11 for three separate hard-hitting investigative stories; KHOU-TV for revealing Houston’s wasteful police body camera program; KNTV for an investigative series that chronicled the misuse of school police officers to discipline students; and WITI-TV for bravely challenging public opinion about laws intended to safeguard children that paradoxically may put them at greater risk.

The chosen winners reflect many of the year’s most critical issues — from race relations, to civil rights, education and immigration.

The duPont-Columbia Awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library, co-hosted by Gayle Kingco-host of “CBS This Morning” — and Jake Tapper — anchor of CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” and “State of the Union with Jake Tapper.” Tapper’s video announcement and more information about the winners can also be seen at www.dupont.org and on Twitter using the hashtag #duPont2018.



The 2018 duPont winners are:

ABC15 Arizona

Cash for Compliance

A relentless investigative series exposed an audacious group of litigators who exploited the Americans with Disabilities Act for profit.

ABC News and Lincoln Square Productions

LET IT FALL: Los Angeles 1982-1992

Artfully told and deeply reported, this documentary reconstructed the decade-long series of events leading up to the 1992 racially charged Los Angeles riots.

American Documentary and WORLD Channel - WGBH | PBS


Three distinctive yet complementary short films spotlighted the profound benefits of early education in impoverished and often ignored parts of America.

CBS News

60 MINUTES: The New Cold War

In this sobering two-part series, producers gained rare access to America’s nuclear arsenal and introduced viewers to the frontline men and women who would have to carry out a nuclear attack.

CBS Evening News

The Road to Aleppo

A series of courageous daily news reports by veteran conflict reporter Elizabeth Palmer and her crew on the ground in Syria.



In this epic feature-length documentary, refugees fleeing war-torn homelands and desperate poverty worked with filmmakers to tell their own stories.

HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

The Lords of the Rings

This ambitious investigative report—filmed in nine countries—exposed graft and corruption in the IOC and detailed how its members pursue wealth, privilege and self-glory at the expense of the Games.


Investigative Reporting

This joint award for three separate reports honors KARE 11’s commitment to investigative reporting, whether it be stories of bilking taxpayers, concealing child molesters or misdiagnosing veterans.



This innovative long-form report, based on a four month-investigation of the Houston PD's $8 million body camera program, revealed its many weaknesses, including hundreds of cases with missing footage, major delays in releasing videos, and a general lack of accountability.

National Geographic Networks and Junger Quested Films

Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS

Pulled from nearly 1,000 hours of gripping footage, this important documentary explored the root causes and repercussions of the war in Syria, detailing the West’s role in the creation of ISIS.

NBC Bay Area (KNTV)

Arrested at School

An impactful two year-long investigative series chronicled the misuse of school police officers to discipline students, which can leave children with criminal records for what is arguably ‘childish misbehavior.’

Netflix | Forward Movement | Kandoo Films


This powerful documentary from director Ava DuVernay examined how for over 150 years, the American political and legal system has targeted and labeled African-Americans as criminals.

The New York Times

The Daily

One of the signature achievements in podcasting this year, “The Daily” gives listeners a seat at the table with Times reporters, raising the journalistic bar and inspiring a wave of imitators.

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting | PRX | Coda Story

Russia's New Scapegoats

In this courageous radio documentary, Reveal and Coda Story teamed up to shed new light on the dangers of Russia’s anti-gay movement, and exposed its cynical motives.

This American Life

Episode 600: Will I Know Anyone At This Party? Act One: Party in the USA

In a tumultuous election year, producer Zoe Chace traveled to Minnesota to report on immigration push back, in this firsthand account of the changes taking place in America today.


Men on the Margin

WITI bravely challenged public opinion about some of the most reviled people in American society: convicted child sex offenders, who are paradoxically more prone to re-offend as a result of the laws intended to safeguard children.

The 16 winning programs appeared on air, online or in theaters between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards honor excellence in broadcast, online and documentary journalism. The awards, established in 1942 by Jessie Ball duPont in memory of her husband Alfred I. duPont, are generously supported by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.


About Columbia Journalism School

For more than a century, the school has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened its doors in 1912 and offers Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science in Data Journalism, a joint Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Journalism, and Doctor of Philosophy in Communications.  It houses the Columbia Journalism Review, Brown Institute for Media Innovation, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, and Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The school also administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, the John Chancellor Award, the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project Awards, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, and the Meyer “Mike” Berger Award. www.journalism.columbia.edu

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