CBS and NPR’s coverage of the Syrian uprising were recognized by the 2013 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards, whose winners were announced Wednesday morning by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
CBS reporter Clarissa Ward “bravely reported on what was happening inside Syria’s dangerous and largely inaccessible insurgent strongholds despite government efforts to keep foreign journalists away,” the awards say.
To report this extraordinary series of nine stories, Ward entered Syria posing as a tourist carrying only a small camera. She gave viewers the rare opportunity to meet the people behind the shaky cell phone videos posted on YouTube. With deliberate and straightforward reporting, Ward provided riveting details about activists and regular citizens as their struggle brought Syria to the brink of civil war.
NPR’s coverage, the awards’ release says, “was wide ranging, balanced and in depth.”
Veteran foreign correspondent Deb Amos provided critical context and explanation in her reporting that helped listeners understand the complex sectarian and regional factors at play. Her reporting from inside Syria at the scene of a massacre and the capitol Damascus documented spikes in violence. Correspondent Kelly McEvers brought a focus on individual stories that made the conflict real in human terms. With mainstream reporters banned from travel to Syria, her extensive reporting on YouTube distributed videos of the fighting filmed by activists shed light on what was happening.
Sherry Ricchiardi wrote about the difficulties of covering Syria for AJR, which calls it the “most dangerous place in the world for journalists.”
Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin was killed in Syria this past February; New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid died there the same month. Austin Tice, who reported for McClatchy, The Washington Post and other outlets, has been missing in Syria since August. NBC correspondent Richard Engel was freed Tuesday after being kidnapped and held for five days in Syria.