DuPont awards bring focus to dangers of reporting from war-torn Syria
Two reported series about the war in Syria will receive Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards during a ceremony at Columbia University's Low Memorial Library next month.
CBS News is the winner of a 2013 duPont Award for foreign correspondent Clarissa Ward’s reporting from inside Syria on the "CBS Evening News" with Scott Pelley, and NPR has won for its Syria coverage from correspondents Deb Amos and Kelly McEvers. The annual awards honor excellence in public-service oriented broadcast and digital journalism.
Syria has been a particularly dangerous assignment this past year, accounting for 28 of the 67 journalist deaths worldwide in 2012, according to a report released this week by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Several prominent western journalists have died there, including Marie Colvin and Anthony Shadid. Just this past week, NBC News foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his crew were kidnapped and held for five days before being released.
"When journalists are killed, our understanding of critical global events is diminished," said Joel Simon, C.P.J.'s executive director, in a statement Monday. "In no place has this truth been revealed more dramatically than Syria, where so many journalists have been killed seeking to inform the world."
Also among this year's crop of 14 duPont Award winners are USA Today, Current TV, PBS "Frontline," StoryCorps, two independent documentary films and various local affiliates.
“This exceptional group of journalists represents the best of broadcast, documentary and digital news reporting today,” said outgoing duPont jury chair and former NBC News executive vice president Bill Wheatley in a statement. “These groundbreaking stories set the standard for excellent reporting; journalists gained access and insight into critical issues in the public interest, and they are telling these important stories in new ways."
Christiane Amanpour of CNN and ABC News, and Byron Pitts of CBS News, will host the ceremony for the duPont Awards, which have been given out annually for the past 70 years, on Jan. 22 at Columbia.
Amanpour made a video about the winners, which you can view below: