Investigative Reporting Program Wins duPont Award for “Rape in the Fields”

December 18, 2013

A year-long investigation into sexual violence against field workers nets prestigious Alfred I. DuPont Award for UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Investigative Reporting Program.

“Rape in the Fields” is a chilling investigation of sexual assault against immigrant workers on U.S. farms and was the result of a broad collaboration of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s Investigative Reporting Program, led by renowned producer and correspondent Lowell Bergman, along with PBS Frontline, the Spanish language network Univision and the Center for Investigative Reporting. All have just been awarded an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for bringing this story out of the shadows. This is only the second time that a university-led program has been distinguished with a duPont Award.

Eight alums Andres Cediel (’04), Zachary Stauffer (’08), Lauren Rosenfeld (’12), Linsay Rousseau Burnett (’10), J.J. Barrow (’12), Daffodil Altan (’04), Rosa Ramirez (’11), Tupac Saavedra (’07); five J-School students Yousur Alhlou, Alicia Avila, Steve Fisher, Erica Hellerstein and Anne Hoffman; and five UC Berkeley undergrads: Alyssa Jaffer, Nadeen Jubran, Mariela Nevarez, Claire Perlman and Mariana Sosa Cordero worked on this landmark multilingual project.

It is the first time a news program has premiered on two national networks and in two languages. The subject was also unique: the documentary revealed that sexual assault and rape of female farm workers is endemic across this country.

“Being dean of an outstanding journalism school means I’m more aware than many people of just how hard it is to produce first-rate work that chronicles significant realities that aren’t being tracked, or even noticed, by mainstream news media,” said
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Dean Edward Wasserman. “That kind of work is difficult and laborious, and it takes determination, broad cooperation, and lavish investments of time. It’s with great pride that I congratulate the entire team
on winning the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, arguably the top award in broadcast news. It’s testimony to the caliber of talent and dedication of Berkeley’s journalism students.”

For more than 70 years, the duPont Awards have recognized excellence in broadcast journalism and are one of the most prestigious prizes in broadcast, documentary and digital news. The award will officially be presented in New York City January 21, 2014.

“Rape in the Field” at PBS Frontline.

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