CNN, ABC wave Batons

NEW YORK — Cable News Network, ABC News and producers for programs on PBS won duPont-Columbia broadcast journalism awards Thursday in a ceremony that also honored former CBS News president Fred Friendly.

The awards, known as the Silver Batons, also went to Wisconsin Public Television and stations KRON-TV in San Francisco, WTVJ-TV and WPLG-TV, both of Miami, and WBFF-TV of Baltimore.

CNN won for its coverage of the fighting in Bosnia, described as “tough yet deeply human.” The citation said the coverage “focused the world’s eye on the former Yugoslavia, particularly on the plight of Sarajevo’s children and elderly , soldiers and victims of war.”

ABC News won for a segment on the magazine show “20/20” titled “The Gift of Life,” which reconstructed the brief meeting between a badly wounded U.S. soldier in Vietnam and the doctor who saved his life.

“It is a story of moral ambiguity and personal triumph,” the award said.

The PBS show “Frontline” and The Center for Investigative Reporting won for “The Best Campaign Money Can Buy,” an hour-long documentary that “took a hard but witty look at the inherent ethical problems of financing presidential campaigns.”

Another program to air on PBS, “The Pacific Century,” also won a silver baton.

The 10-hour series, produced by Jigsaw Prods., examined the growing economic and political power of Asia in world affairs. “The series is beautifully produced and among the best historical documentaries on public television,” the citation said.

The prestigious gold baton was awarded to Friendly, a long-time collaborator with Edward R. Murrow and producer of many of the correspondent’s landmark documentaries.

Friendly was also honored for his PBS “Media and Society” seminars, which ranged from the U.S. Constitution to health care and drugs.

In a prepared statement, Columbia University President George Rupp praised Friendly for “not only changing television news, but also holding all of the media to the highest standards of excellence and public service.”

In the category of Major Market Television, San Francisco station KRON-TV won for “In the Shadow of the Wall,” on the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

In Medium Market Television, two awards went to Miami television stations. WTVJ-TV won for its coverage of Hurricane Andrew and WPLG-TV won for the documentary “Armed Enemies of Castro.”

Station WBFF-TV of Baltimore won for a series of reports called “Justice on Trial, The Lost Generation,” which examined urban violence.

Among independent television productions, MW Productions won for a profile of labor leader Harry Bridges and TriStar Television, Barbara Kopple and NBC Television shared an award for a documentary on boxer Mike Tyson.

WBAI/Pacifica Radio won the radio award for a documentary on violence against Timorese by Indonesian troops.

The awards, established in 1942 by the widow of Alfred I. duPont in memory of the industrialist, are administered by Columbia University. The current awards were given for programs first broadcast between July 1, 1992, and June 30, 1993.

A list of winners follows:

Gold Baton — Former CBS News President Fred Friendly “for his lifetime contribution over five decades to the ethics and practice of journalism.”

Cable News Network for its coverage of fighting in Bosnia.

“Frontline” and The Center for Investigative Reporting for “The Best Campaign Monday Can Buy” on PBS.

ABC News for a segment on “20/20” titled “The Gift of Life,” profiling a wounded soldier in Vietnam and the doctor who saved his life.

Jigsaw Prods. Inc. for “The Pacific Century” on PBS, a 10-part series that looked at the growing economic and political importance of Asia.

Major Market Television

KRON-TV San Francisco for “In the Shadow of the Wall,” a documentary on the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam memorial in Washington.

Medium Market Television

WTVJ-Miami for coverage of Hurricane Andrew.

WBFF-TV, Baltimore, and reporter Deborah Weiner for “Justice on Trial: The Lost Generation,””Finding the Lost Generation,” and “The Walking Wounded,” a series on urban crime.

WPLG-Miami for “Armed Enemies of Castro,” a series of eight investigative reports for its evening news program on anti-Castro groups operating out of a paramilitary camp.

Small Market Television

Wisconsin Public Television for “Move Over: Women and the ’92 Campaign,” a collaborative effort by four Wisconsin public stations examining the increase of women in politics.


Television Production

MW Prods. for “Harry Bridges: A Man and His Union,” a one-hour documentary on the labor leader.

Barbara Kopple, TriStar Television and NBC Television for “Fallen Champ: The Untold Story of Mike Tyson,” a 90-minute docu on the boxer.


WBAI/Pacifica Radio for “Massacre: The Story of East Timor,” looking at the 1991 killings of Timorese by Indonesian troops.

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