KING 5 News accepted a 2011 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award in New York Thursday night for the KING 5 Investigators' “Waste on the Water” series, which exposed millions of tax dollars wasted in the Washington State Ferry system. KING 5 investigative journalist Susannah Frame blogs about the awards ceremony:
The KING 5 Investigative Unit soaked it all in at Columbia University Thursday night. We were the 2nd of 13 winners to receive our Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for our investigation: "Waste on the Water" Wow! The ceremony was in the school’s gorgeous and majestic Low Memorial Library. Brian Williams from NBC was scheduled to emcee the event, but he ended up interviewing former Pres. Bush about the first gulf war at the same time. His replacement? The studly, handsome, tall, talented and younger-than-on-TV-looking Lester Holt from NBC and the Today Show. He shook my hand and handed me the award! Other star sightings (I love the whole star-struck thing): CNN’s Soledad O’Brian, ABC’s Brian Ross, Scott Pelley from 60 minutes. It was such an honor to be surrounded by dozens of amazing journalists. We’re still pinching ourselves-really? We won the equivalent of a Pulitzer? The award is really cool! It’s a silver baton with words from Edward R. Murrow inscribed on it. We treated it like an infant last night. Where’s the DuPont? Did Susannah lose it yet? Check to see if the DuPont is still in her purse!
I can’t thank my co-workers enough who stood on that stage with me. I was so proud. They are: my amazing News Director Mark Ginther: he kept saying, just go out there and dog the story. Take the time you need. What resources do you need to get the stories done? How many of you hear stuff like that from your boss?? Thank you Mark. My close friend and Executive Producer Kellie Cheadle. Kellie can research a ferry worker, a state law, a state official faster than I can take a breath. She is incredible, really. Kept my head on straight for me and discussed the stories with me for hours. Thank you for all that time and the wonderful leadership you bring to our unit. I’m so glad you’re my boss (Kellie hates it when I call her the boss, but guess what? She is!) Our photojournalists: Steve Douglas and Doug Burgess. Two of the best in the entire country. They shot those ferries like nobody’s business and don’t even get me started on the editing. It was simply beautiful. I love you guys. Thank you!! Pat Costello, our Station Manager. I’m so glad he came on the trip. He is possibly the funniest man alive and is the ultimate supporter of the kind of journalism we are doing. He’s given me many, many pieces of sage advice of the years. Thank you so much Pat. I am a little irritated with Pat though. My stomach hurts so bad from laughing and laughing at post-ceremony dinner. I woke up thinking: did someone punch me in the gut?
Finally, to our superbly talented graphics department headed by William Drescher (Dresch). Those guys put together a perfect graphics package for this series which made the pieces pop out of the screen. When announcing our award, Lester Holt singled out the graphics as an important part of the work! Thank you graphic artists for putting your all into our stories and for putting up with our non-stop requests! Now, back to more fun in New York. Extra bonus? Three of us brought our spouses. It was amazing having them out in that audience. Thank you for allowing us to work non-stop hours-that is incredible support. Thank you KING for sending us. It’s a privilege to represent this company. Truly.