The Columbia Journalism School announced the winners of the 2013 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University awards on Wednesday. Fourteen broadcast, digital, and documentary projects—national, local, and independently-released—received silver batons for their excellent public service reporting (a gold baton hasn’t been handed out since 2009). Here’s the rundown:
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry: directed and produced by Alison Klayman, documentary about an outspoken Chinese artist and China’s response to him.
CBS News with Scott Pelley, “Inside Syria”: in nine stories, Clarissa Ward reported on the Syria uprisings, one of few American journalists to obtain such access.
Vanguard, “Arming the Mexican Cartels”: Christof Putzel went to Juarez for Current TV’s documentary series to report on how the rampant drug gang violence has been fueled by guns trafficked from America.
SoCal Connected, “Courting Disaster”: KCET’s cameras were allowed into the Los Angeles Dependency Court for the first time, showing how $650 million in state budget cuts overwhelmed the system that determined the fates of hundreds of children every day.
KLAS, “The Desert Underwater”: The Las Vegas CBS affiliate reported on the area’s current foreclosure crisis with a news series, hourlong special report, and online database.
Bully: Lee Hirsh directed, co-produced, and co-wrote this documentary that followed five bullied teenagers and their families.
NPR’s coverage of Syria: correspondents Deb Amos and Kelly McEvers got special mention for their work in NPR’s daily reports on the Syrian conflict; Amos reported from Syria, and McEvers through activist-filmed YouTube videos.
StoryCorps, “9/11”: StoryCorps worked with NPR, POV, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum to create this multiplatform history of September 11 for the tenth anniversary, turning personal accounts into animated shorts and an hourlong NPR special.
USA Today, “Ghost Factories”: an interactive report on contaminated sites of abandoned factories, the dangers they pose to families who live nearby, and how the government failed to protect its citizen from them.
Frontline, “The Interrupters”: Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz spent a year filming this documentary about former gang members in Chicago working for peace.
Frontline, “Opium Brides”: Najibullah Quraishi reported on the consequences of the Afghan government’s attempt to stop the opium trade on poppy farmers, many of whom are forced to give their young daughters to drug traffickers to repay debts.
StateImpact Pennsylvania: This radio collaboration between NPR and local stations WITF and WHYY looked at the effect of fracking on Pennsylvania residents.
“Dirty Deeds” and “Hiding Behind the Badge”: Two series from New Orleans’s WVUE-TV investigative reporter Lee Zurik about government corruption. “Hiding” resulted in federal charges for businessmen and law enforcement.
“Wayne County Confidential”: Detroit’s WXYZ-TV series uncovered government corruption that has led to several of the accused officials resigning and facing charges.