KCETLink Honored with 2013 Casey Medal for "Courting Disaster"

SoCal Connected investigation into the cramped courtrooms of Los Angeles Dependency Court wins first place in short-form video category.


Burbank, Calif. - June 30, 2013 -KCETLink's exclusive investigation on the economic crisis inside Los Angeles Superior Court entitled "Courting Disaster" which revealed a courtroom where lives stand still, clogged in the largest judicial system in the nation, was honored with a first place 2013 Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism by the Journalism Center on Children and Families (JCCF) at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. Winning in the "Short Form Video" category, the "Courting Disaster" segment aired during season five of SoCal Connected, KCETLink's news and public affairs program.


Produced by Karen Foshay, with correspondent Jennifer London, and editor Michael Bloecher, the "Courting Disaster" segment took viewers inside courtrooms throughout L.A., including unprecedented access to children's dependency court. The investigation found that whether it's fighting for custody, filing for divorce or arguing a traffic ticket, everyone is courting disaster.


With the Casey Medals, JCCF judges sought journalism that packed a punch, stirred the conscience and made an impact; meticulously reported, powerfully delivered stories that shined a spotlight on issues, institutions and communities that rarely receive media attention.  


The Casey Medals are a project of the Journalism Center on Children and Families at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. JCCF and the Medals program are funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Twelve winners will receive $1,000 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26. Two honorees will receive additional prizes of $5,000 from the America's Promise Alliance, a coalition of more than 350 national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth.


An excerpt from JCCF's announcement is below:


VIDEO: Short form

WINNER: "Courting Disaster," KCET, Karen Foshay, Jennifer London and Michael Bloecher (ed.)
Inside the cramped courtrooms of Los Angeles Dependency Court, life-changing decisions can be made in a matter of minutes, sometimes by judges who have no experience with juvenile court or knowledge of the cases. California's fiscal crisis has led to deep budget cuts that are devastating and paralyzing the courts, resulting in soaring caseloads for attorneys and social workers, and greater vulnerability for desperate families. The judges praised the reporter for successfully gaining camera access to the courtroom and called this investigation an alarming piece of local news reporting that shines a vital light on the impact of California's budgetary crisis on families. This story got the attention of court officials, legislators and advocates throughout the state.


Season five of SoCal Connected was made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation, serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; The Maddocks-Brown Foundation; The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation; The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and UCLA.   



KCETLink, formed by the merger between KCET and Link Media, is a national independent, nonprofit, digital and broadcast network that provides high-quality, culturally diverse programming designed to engage the public in innovative, entertaining and transformative ways. With a commitment to independent perspectives, smart global entertainment, local communities, and opportunities for engagement and social action, KCETLink depicts people and the world through a lens unavailable elsewhere in U.S. media. A viewer-supported 501(c)(3) organization, KCETLink content is distributed via satellite on DirecTV 375 and DISH Network 9410, in Southern and Central California via broadcast, as well as through various digital delivery systems. KCET and Link TV are services of KCETLink. For additional information about KCET and Link TV productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org.







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