“Virunga,” “Particle Fever” win duPont-Columbia awards

Orlando von Einsiedel's doc on an endangered African park, Virunga (pictured), and Mark A. Levinson's physics doc Particle Fever are among the 14 winners of the 2015 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards.
December 18, 2014

Orlando von Einsiedel’s film on an endangered African park, Virunga (pictured), and Mark A. Levinson’s physics doc Particle Fever are among the 14 winners of the 2015 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards.

The awards – established in 1942 – are distributed by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and recognize the best in broadcast, digital and documentary reporting.

In addition to wins for feature docs Virunga  - the first duPont award for streaming service Netflix – and Particle Fever, PBS strand ‘Frontline’ picked up two awards for the episodes “Syria’s Second Front” and “United States of Secrets,” while NPR won for its multi-platform series Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt.

Elsewhere, CNN took home an award for its two-part program on medical marijuana WEED: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports, and PBS won for its six-part historical series The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates.

“The categories change. The technologies change. Ten years ago, who even knew what streaming was? Today a streaming service has won a duPont,” said Richard Wald, duPont jury chair and the Fred W. Friendly professor of media and society at Columbia Journalism School, in a statement.

“But the jury was impressed that the essentials remain: tell a good story in the service of truth; tell something interesting and important; tell something that makes us wiser and better informed,” he added. “Valuable journalism is alive and well.”

The duPont awards ceremony will take place on January 20, and is to be hosted by NBC News correspondent Cynthia McFadden and NPR journalist Michel Martin.

The full list of duPont winners is available here.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.