Newsy, ‘Frontline’ Take Top RFK TV Awards

The RFK Journalism Grand Prize went to Newsy for its documentary, A Broken Trust. The Seigenthaler Prize, which recognizes reporting under difficult circumstances requiring great courage and commitment, was given to PBS’s Frontline / Channel 4 / ITN Productions for its film, For Sama.

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights announced the winners of its 2020 RFK Book and Journalism Awards on Thursday in a virtual ceremony featuring special guest presenters, including Katie Couric, David Remnick, Don Lemon, Soledad O’Brien, Natalie Morales, Rory Kennedy, Van Jones and Jane Mayer.

The 2020 journalism honorees — selected from over 325 entries in 13 categories — represented outstanding reporting from the past year, highlighting issues of concern to Robert Kennedy that continue to resonate today: human rights, social justice and the power of individual action.

The judges were particularly impressed with the two winners from the television categories, choosing to award them with the top honors of the night.

The RFK Journalism Grand Prize went to Newsy for its documentary, A Broken Trust. The investigation examined how centuries of inequities, legal loopholes, and a profound ignorance of tribal issues by many in power in the federal government, have not only left Native American women vulnerable to sexual assault but also made it difficult, if not dangerous, to report their perpetrators.

The Seigenthaler Prize, which recognizes reporting under difficult circumstances requiring great courage and commitment, was given to PBS’s Frontline / Channel 4 / ITN Productions for its film, For Sama. Told as a love letter from a young mother to her daughter over the course of five years in Aleppo, Syria, For Sama granted viewers a remarkable look into the uprising and, importantly, showed it from a woman’s perspective for the first time.

The nonprofit Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights said:At a time when journalists are facing unprecedented hostility and violence, the ceremony provided an opportunity to pause and reflect on the state of our free press today — recognizing how reporters have risked their health and safety, while simultaneously facing furloughs and layoffs, to keep the public informed.”

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Kerry Kennedy, the organization’s president, said: “These targeted, state-sanctioned assaults against journalists are a blatant violation of their First Amendment rights and shameful proof of the escalating war on freedom of the press. When journalists can’t do their jobs without fear of being harassed, attacked, or detained, the consequences are clear: civic space crumbles and with it our ability to hold the powerful to account.”

The full list of 2020 RFK Book and Journalism Award winners is below.

ROBERT F. KENNEDY JOURNALISM AWARDS

High School Journalism
Black Students Nearly Two Times as Likely to be Suspended as White Peers in the ICCSD
Iowa City High School’s The Little Hawk
Nina Lavezzo-Stecopoulos

College Journalism
State of Emergency
Carnegie-Knight News21, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
News21 Staff

Domestic Print
Exploited
New York Times
Michael H. Keller, Gabriel J.X. Dance, Nellie Bowles, and Kholood Eid

International Print
The Afghanistan Papers
Washington Post
Craig Whitlock

Domestic Photography
One More Year on the Farm: A Minnesota Farm Family Fights to Save Its Land
Washington Post
Ricky Carioti, MaryAnne Golon, Karly Domb Sadof, and Annie Gowen

International Photography
Venezuela on the Edge
Associated Press
Rodrigo Abd

Radio
In the Dark: The Path Home
APM Reports
In the Dark Staff

New Media
Inside the Border Patrol
ProPublica
A.C. Thompson, Ginger Thompson, Melissa del Bosque, Jeff Ernsthausen, Robert Moore, Susan Schmidt, Maryam Jameel, Lucas Waldron, Katie Campbell, and Dara Lind

Cartoon
JD Crowe 2019 Work
Alabama Media Group
JD Crowe

International Television and Seigenthaler Prize
For Sama
FRONTLINE / WGBH
FRONTLINE PBS / Channel 4 / ITN Productions

Domestic Television and Grand Prize
A Broken Trust
Newsy
Maren Machles, Carrie Cochran, Angela Hill, Suzette Brewer, and the Broken Trust Team


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