Documentary Going Clear on Scientology wins 2016 DuPont-Columbia journalism award


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Documentary Going Clear on Scientology wins 2016 DuPont-Columbia journalism award.

The Denver Post: 2016 DuPont-Columbia awards honor new platforms

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By Joanne Ostrow

Television Critic

Diane Sawyer’s interview with Bruce Jenner, HBO’s documentary “Going Clear” on Scientology and WBEZ and “This American Life’s” podcast “Serial” are among the winners of the 2016 DuPont-Columbia journalism awards, announced today by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


See the complete list.

“Serial’s” award is the first for a podcast.

They will be awarded Jan. 19 in a ceremony hosted by Tom Brokaw and ABC News Nightline anchor Juju Chang.

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Columbia Journalism School: Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards

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Announcing the 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award Winners

Public Broadcasting & Investigative Journalism Dominate New Platforms & Outlets Win: Serial, VICE News, Al Jazeera America


New York, N.Y., Dec. 15, 2015 -- Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism is pleased to announce 16 winners of the 2016 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards. The winners and one special finalist citation will be awarded at the January 19, 2016 award ceremony at Low Memorial Library.

There are a number of firsts this year. Four news organizations will garner their first duPont Award, and there will be one new winning platform: podcasting. Both the record number of entries and the chosen winners reflect the year's most critical issues - civil rights, income inequality, international crises and a growing focus on the rights of transgender adults and children.

Investigative journalism will be honored with eight awards across network and cable television, audio/radio, online, newspapers and local television stations, often in overlapping platforms. Four awards will go to local television news investigations; Cronkite News/Arizona PBS, KMOV-TV, WBAL-TV, WRAL-TV.

Public broadcasting had another robust year with six awards for network longform hours (two for FRONTLINE), series (WETA), radio (WNYC) and multimedia (Arizona PBS). One award, for WBEZ and This American Life’s wildly popular “Serial,” will be the first duPont Award in the burgeoning field of podcasts.

The broadcast networks will take home two duPonts; one each for ABC News and CBS News, while HBO will be honored with two awards. Al Jazeera America and VICE News will win their first duPont Awards. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will be honored for the first time for its digital environmental reporting, and Cronkite News/Arizona PBS will also win its first duPont for a student-professional partnership. This year, KCBS Radio will be awarded a special finalist citation.

Tom Brokaw, special correspondent for NBC News, and ABC News Nightline Anchor Juju Chang will co-host the duPont Awards ceremony on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, at Columbia University’s Low Memorial Library, which will be livestreamed at

The 2016 duPont winners are:



HBO Documentary Films in association with Sky Atlantic and Jigsaw Productions

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

A blockbuster feature length documentary exposé of Scientology challenged powerful interests head on.

Director Alex Gibney builds on Producer Lawrence Wright's book of the same name to puncture the secrecy of the church of Scientology. The trip from the deluded fantasies of founder L. Ron Hubbard, detailed in film footage of his interviews and the recollections of his ex-wife, to an interview with a woman whose daughter was forced to "disconnect" with her because she'd left the church, is spellbinding. The feature length documentary grounds the story in interviews with formerly high-placed members of the church and includes disturbing footage of antagonistic church representatives intimidating those who left. The filmmakers themselves were under duress from the church, during and after the film was made. The production is outstanding, beautifully shot and edited. A groundbreaking film that was widely seen, it is sure to change the image of Scientology forever.

Writer/Director, Alex Gibney; Sheila Nevins, Executive Producer; Sara Bernstein, Supervising Producer; Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright, Kristen Vaurio, Producers; Chris Wilson, Executive Producer, Sky Atlantic

Visit the website. Follow on Twitter @AlexGibneyFilm @HBO

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