“I never thought I would be the one to attend an event like that. It was like attending a Grammy Awards, but for journalists,” Daniela Manuel said.

On Jan. 21, two ABAC students, Jhonelle Chambers,  Randie Sumner and two ABAC alumni, Daniela Manuel and Jamie Worsley attended the Alfred I. DuPont Awards with Dr. Thomas Grant, a two-time DuPont award winner. The ceremony was hosted by Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international anchor, and Michael Barbaro, host of The New York Times “The Daily.”

The presenters for the ceremony included Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, and Steve Coll, Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. 16 DuPont silver batons were awarded to various news stations and film companies across the country. The most memorable part of the ceremony was when KARE 11 from Minneapolis, Minnesota was recognized for its documentary ‘Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary.’

The principal from Lucy Laney Elementary, Mauri Friestleben, accepted the silver baton and received two standing ovations. ‘Love Them First’ was screened at Columbia University’s Journalism School due to its popularity at the ceremony.

The other stories awarded focused on many real-world events. CBS’ 60 Minutes ‘On the Border’ focused on the immigration crisis, Netflix’s ‘The Bleeding Edge’ reported on the medical industry and the dangers of faulty implants, CNN’s ‘The Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi’ told the story of the disappearance of Khashoggi and the cover-up and FRONTLINE’s ‘The Facebook Dilemma’ explored the mystery behind targeted ads.

Many journalists and award winners weren’t able to attend the event due to the Senate’s Impeachment Hearing for President Donald Trump. This included Rachel Maddow, host of The Rachel Maddow Show produced by MSNBC, who won a silver baton for her podcast ‘Bag Man.’ Maddow delivered her acceptance speech through a prerecorded video.

Manuel reflected on her experience, “It was eye-opening to see how journalists can change the lives of other people in a positive way and it was exciting to meet one of those people [Barbaro]. It was like being next to a movie star.”

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