Ever since 1968, when the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards arrived at Columbia, it’s been a pretty safe bet that each year, somebody at CBS News, ABC News or NBC News was going to take home a duPont. At least, until this year. For the first time, the legacy broadcast networks were not among the 2015 winners announced this week. ”They are exceptional and innovative reports about some of the most important issues of our time,” said NBC’s Cynthia McFadden in a video announcing the 2015 winners.
The fourteen winners for 2015 include usual suspects like “Frontline” and CNN, and four local television stations. And then there are the newbies, including Netflix, which was chosen for a feature documentary. “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. “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. Valuable journalism is alive and well.”