The duPont-Columbia Award honors excellence in broadcast journalism and is considered equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize. The multiple Emmy®-winning series, which won the 2010 George Foster Peabody Award, has now been awarded broadcast journalism's two most prestigious honors.
The award committee praised SoCal Connected for its "in-depth stories that exposed elected representatives who don't do their jobs on the local, state and federal levels. KCET's reporting teams showcased television journalism at its best in these stories. In 'Up in Smoke,' a team of reporters exposed the rapid, and often illegal growth of medical marijuana shops in Los Angeles with thorough sourcing, excellent writing and strong production.
In 'Cal/OSHA,' a stunning six-month investigation, another team revealed negligence and fraud by a state agency mandated to protect workers by tracking down documents, finding victims and talking to officials on the record. And in 'Hung Out to Dry,' a national issue was brought down to a local level with clear, thorough and well produced reporting that brought change to the community."
The winning reports are "Up In Smoke," which investigated loopholes in Los Angeles City regulations that led to a proliferation of medical pot clinics; "Cannabis Cowboys," an undercover raid with federal agents to confiscate
marijuana grown in California parklands by Mexican drug cartels; and "The Doctor Is In," a piece by Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez, who finds out just how easy it is to legally obtain medical marijuana in Southern California.
Also included in the honor are "Protected or Neglected," a six-month investigation into California worker safety and the lax handling of worker protection regulations by Cal/OSHA, and "Hung Out To Dry," a report on FEMA flood zone designations that forced some California homeowners to pay for expensive, mandatory flood insurance or lose their homes - even in areas that haven't seen flooding in decades.
SoCal Connected's award-winning investigative team is comprised of reporters John Larson, Steve Lopez, Judy Muller and Vince Gonzales; producers Karen Foshay and Rick Wilkinson; anchor Val Zavala; senior producer Justine Schmidt; supervising producer Linda Burns; associate producers Brian Frank, Alexandria Gales and Lata Pandya; editors Alberto Arce and Michael Bloecher; graphic designer Robert Vega; web producer Steve Proffitt; web associate producer Brian Frank; and executive producer Bret Marcus.
For additional information, please visit: http://www.kcet.org/shows/socal_connected/content/socal-connected-wins-dupont-award.html and http://www.dupontawards.org/year/2011#winners_box
About the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards
For over 40 years, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards have recognized excellence in broadcast journalism at Columbia University. Created by Jessie Ball duPont in 1942 as a tribute to the journalistic integrity and public-mindedness of her husband, Alfred I. duPont, these awards are regarded today as the most prestigious prizes in broadcast news, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, which are also administered at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
The purpose of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards is to bring the best in television and radio journalism to professional and public attention and to honor those who produce it. The duPont Awards engender a collective spirit for the industry and inform the public of the contributions news organizations make to their communities and to the nation as a whole.
About SoCal Connected
SoCal Connected, winner of the Peabody Award, 11 Emmys, eight Golden Mikes, including Best News Public Affairs Show, 18 LA Press Club awards for journalism, recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best News Documentary, and Los Angeles Magazine's "Best New Local TV Program" of 2009, airs Thursdays (9:00 - 9:30 p.m.), Fridays (8:30 - 9:00 p.m.), Saturdays (6:00 - 6:30 p.m.) and Sundays (6:30 - 7:00 p.m.), exclusively on KCET. For more information, to view episodes online or to post comments, please visit www.kcet.org/socalconnected.
SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation, serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; Maddocks-Brown Foundation; The Elizabeth Hofert-Dailey Trust; The John Randolph Haynes & Dora Haynes Foundation; The Alkoloa Foundation, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, UCLA and U.S. Bank.