KCET wins Alfred I. DuPont award


After scoring a George Foster Peabody Award in June, the LA PBS affiliate’s weekly public affairs program, “SoCal Connected,” has won the prestigious journalism award for its coverage of problems in three government agencies. The stories investigated fraud and negligence at the state employee health and safety agency Cal/OSHA (a six-month investigation);  the spread of legal loophole at medical marijuana dispensaries in LA (“Up in Smoke”); maps produced by FEMA that forced homeowners to buy high-priced flood insurance, even though they weren’t in high risk areas (“Hung Out to Dry”); and “Cannabis Cowboys” followed federal agents sniffing out Mexican drug cartel weed patches in California parklands.

Columbia University’s School of Journalism awards the Alfred I. DuPont awards, one of the highest honors in broadcast news.

“SoCal Connected” will have a higher profile on KCET after 1/1, when the station formally ends its affiliation with PBS and goes independent. KCET plans to emphasize local and regional news, including the nightly “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and “Washington Week,” reports KPCC-FM.

Other pubcasters that won duPonts in 2010 include West Virginia Public Radio, WGBH-TV Boston – producer of “Frontline,” and NPR’s Laura Sullivan, who won for her series on the bail bond system.