KQED and CIR Collaborations Receive Two 2012 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Awards

Heat and Harvest, which explored the impact of climate change on California’s agriculture industry, wins in the documentary category.

Suburban Junkies, which followed three young drug addicts in Orange County, CA, is honored as best audio slideshow.

KQED and the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR)’s ongoing reporting partnership was just recognized with two national 2012 Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Awards. Judges chose the winners, representing the best in professional journalism, from over 1,700 entries from around the U.S. in categories covering print, radio, television and online.

The two honored entries are:

  • The half-hour television special Heat and Harvest, which shed light on the impact of climate change on California’s agriculture industry, won the best documentary award (large-market station: 1-50 market). Long acknowledged as “the nation’s salad bowl,” California’s farm belt is facing some thorny challenges from rising temperatures, encroaching pests and shrinking water supplies. This multi-media reporting project explores the dramatic impact of climate change on the state’s $30 billion-dollar agricultural industry. The honored documentary was part of the multi-platform series, which included two The California Report radio stories, a Forum program, multi-media blogs and print articles. Watch the full documentary, which aired on KQED Public Television and on stations around California, on the KQED Science website or the CIR website.
  • Suburban Junkies, a collaboration between KQED Public Radio and CIR’s California Watch project, won for best digital media presentation: audio slideshow. Featuring the photography of Daniel A. Anderson, the piece followed three young addicts in Orange County, CA, who have moved from prescription drugs to heroin, and gave context around the issue with pieces including a grieving mother and a local emergency doctor. The series, which included radio and print stories, was the culmination of a six-month investigation and has spurred lawmakers in Sacramento to take action with the passing of a Good Samaritan law that provides immunity from prosecution for people who report a drug overdose. Watch the slideshow on the California Watch website.

Seven multi-platform specials have come out of KQED and CIR’s multimedia partnership with three more specials coming over the next year. The two news organizations most recently produced A Church Divided, exploring homosexuality and Christian doctrine; Prison Break, which looked into the impact of Governor Jerry Brown’s far-reaching efforts to overhaul California’s prison system; Republic of Cannabis, which explored California’s marijuana trade; and On Shaky Ground, an investigation into the seismic safety of public schools that prompted calls for change.

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

Founded in 1977, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation’s oldest nonprofit investigative news organization, producing unique, high-quality reporting that has impact and is relevant to people’s lives. The organization’s stories appear in hundreds of news outlets, including NPR News, PBS Frontline, PBS NewsHour, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, MinnPost and American Public Media’s Marketplace. CIR stories have received numerous journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Award, Emmy Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Its reports have sparked state and federal hearings and legislation, United Nations resolutions, public-interest lawsuits and changes in corporate policies.  For more information, please visit cironline.org.

KQED Media Contact: Evren Odcikin, 415.553.8451 or evren@kqed.org
CIR Media Contact: Lisa Cohen, 310.395.2544 or lisa@lisacohen.org