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DuPont Batons passed to ABC, ‘Nightline,’ KTTV-LA

Coverage of the Los Angeles riots and the trial of four officers that led up to the crisis paid off for ABC News, its program “Nightline” and for KTTV, Los Angeles, which were awarded Silver Batons during The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, presented here last night.

“Nightline” and ABC News were cited among the network entries for its response and coverage to the Los Angeles riots.

According to duPont-Columbia judges, KTTV stood alone among the local stations in covering the trial of four police officers accused of beating motorist Rodney King.

During a ceremony at Columbia U, 14 Silver Batons and the top honor, the Gold Baton, were handed out. The evening marked the awards’ first half-century. Winners were selected from more than 500 submissions that aired between July 1, 1991, and June 30, 1992.

The top honor of the evening went to National Public Radio for having “transformed radio news with the depth, creativity, diversity and worldwide range of its reporting.”

Also selected in the network category were KERA-TV, Dallas, and David Grubin Prods. for “The American Experience: LBJ” which aired on PBS. CBS’s “60 Minutes” segment “Made in China” was honored with a Silver Baton, as was “Frontline” and Carole Langer for “Who Killed Adam Mann?,”which aired on PBS.

“Berkeley in the Sixties,” produced by Mark Kitchell and “P.O.V.” and aired on PBS, was selected for the Silver Baton among independent television productions.

In addition to KTTV, WCVB-TV, Boston, won in the major market division for “Chronicle” and its environmental reporting.

KCNC-TV in Denver’s “Erin’s Life,” a one-hour broadcast tracking the recovery of a 24-year-old automobile accident victim who suffered brain damage, won in the medium-market TV category. Also cited for the Silver Baton in medium markets was WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, for “Made in the USA,” a three-part series on its late news that blew the whistle on falsely labeled merchandise being sold to the Pentagon. KSTP-TV, St. Paul’s, “Who’s Watching the Store,” tracking discrimination in store security also won a Silver Baton.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting and The Center for New American Media’s “Louisiana Boys,” an hourlong documentary on the “fascinating, colorful and corrupt world of the state’s politics” captured the Silver Baton for small market television stations.

Linda Ellerbee’s Lucky Duck Prods. and Nickelodeon won a Silver Baton for “Nick News W/5,” a news program for children 8-12 years old. Home Box Office’s documentary “Abortion: Desperate Choices” also won a Silver in the cable category.

Former CBS veteran Bill Leonard was also awarded a Silver Baton as being one of journalism’s “most respected and influential figures.”

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