MPR News wins duPont award for 'Betrayed by Silence'

MPR News on Wednesday was named the recipient of an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, one of the highest honors in broadcast, documentary and digital journalism.

The award recognizes "Betrayed by Silence," a series of investigative reports that exposed how leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis continued to cover up abuse of children by priests, despite decades of assurances that the Catholic Church was safe.

It's the first time MPR News has received the award.

"We are honored and grateful to receive the duPont Award," said Chris Worthington, MPR News' managing director. "While the stories can be difficult to hear, it's important they be told. They were well-documented and carefully reported. We are proud of our journalism and community service."

MPR News will accept the award at a Jan. 20 ceremony in New York hosted by NBC News anchor Brian Williams and NPR's Michel Martin.

"We devoted a lot of time and energy to this story because it was so important to tell," said Madeleine Baran, the lead reporter. "For the duPont Awards to recognize our hard work and say 'Yes, this is valuable journalism,' is very meaningful."

"Betrayed by Silence" also received Page One Awards for Story of the Year and for Best Continuing Coverage online by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which also named Baran as Young Journalist of the Year. Baran also received a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in the Media. The team's reporting was also honored by the Online News Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, and the Religious Newswriters Association.

Other duPont winners include: CNN, PBS, Frontline and NPR.

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