“World News with Diane Sawyer” Wins “Breaking News” Award for “Disaster in the Pacific”
ABC News Investigative Team Led by Brian Ross Recognized with Awards for Peace Corps and Solyndra Reports, Adding to Unit’s Recent Peabody and Polk Awards
It was announced today that ABC News is being honored by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) with three Sigma Delta Chi Awards in the categories of “Breaking News,” “Investigative Reporting,” and “Online Investigative Reporting.”
“World News with Diane Sawyer” won the award for “Breaking News” for its special coverage “Disaster in the Pacific.” In the early hours of March 11, 2011, Americans woke to the news that a shattering 8.9 magnitude earthquake, followed by a deadly massive tsunami, had devastated Japan, upending the lives of millions and leaving tens of thousands of people dead, missing or homeless. The natural disaster was quickly followed by the equally terrifying potential of a nuclear disaster with news that tsunami had left the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear plant severely damaged. Diane Sawyer was the only evening news anchor to broadcast from Japan; she was joined by a team of correspondents and anchors that included “World News” weekend anchor David Muir, global affairs anchor Christiane Amanpour, and “Nightline” anchor Bill Weir.
In addition, Brian Ross and the ABC News investigative team are being recognized in the “Investigative Reporting” category for their widely praised report “Peace Corps: A Trust Betrayed.” The three-part investigation that aired on ABC’s primetime newsmagazine “20/20″ last year led to historic change including a new law to protect Peace Corps volunteers signed by President Obama in November 2011. The Peace Corps investigation led by Brian Ross and produced by Anna Schecter, Angela Hill, and chief investigative producer Rhonda Schwartz has been recognized with several prestigious awards this year including:
George Polk Award
Investigative Reporters and Editors Award (IRE)
SPJ Sigma Delta Chi Award
Plus, the investigative unit’s joint report with the Center for Public Integrity won the SPJ award for “Online Investigative Reporting” for their investigative report “Green Energy: Contracts, Connections and the Collapse of Solyndra.” Working as joint reporting partners, CPI and ABC News tied major donors to President Obama to lucrative green energy contracts for everything from electric cars to diesel substitutes. This report was led by Brian Ross along with Matthew Mosk and Mark Schone, digital managing editor of ABCNews.com’s “Blotter” page.