CNN Digital nabbed four Society for Features Journalism Awards – including two first-place wins – which honor the craft of feature writing and the people who do it for a living at news organizations and wire services. The awards won are listed below:
1st place in Integrated Storytelling: The Undecided
1st place in Video Storytelling: Journeying home to tell my truth
2nd place in Series/Project: Race, Identity and Politics Series
3rd place in General Feature: Saving Aesha
Winners will be honored at SFJ’s national conference at Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. On October 9-12.
Full list of winners here.
For her fifth exploration of African-American history, issues, and culture, CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien explores interpretations of race and identity for African Americans. The 2010 U.S. Census reported 15 percent of new marriages are interracial, and one in seven American newborns are of mixed race, yet racial identity is often complicated by perspectives of community acceptance.
O’Brien follows the journeys of two high school seniors as they explore their own senses of racial identity, expressing their feelings through a spoken word workshop in Philadelphia. O’Brien also interviews Drexel University professor Yaba Blay, spoken word artist Perry “Vision” DiVirgilio, anti-racism activist and author Tim Wise, and writer, speaker, and image activist Michaela Angela Davis about the historical roots of how race is often defined in America, the prejudicial concept of colorism, and discusses their reflections on categorizing people by race, and racial identity.
Who Is Black In America? encores on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 8:00pm ET & PT.
Cindy Rodriguez joined CNN Digital as Editor for Latino audiences this week. Rodriguez will work with staff at CNN.com and CNN Mobile as well as across CNN television platforms, including CNN en Espanol, to identify stories and perspectives relevant to a Latino audience. Rodriguez comes to CNN Digital from the Huffington Post, where she was associate editor for LatinoVoices.
Rodriguez holds a bachelors degree from Rutgers University, where she majored in journalism and Spanish. She also studied at the Universidad de Salamanca, in Spain, and at Macquarie University in Australia.
Rodriguez started with CNN Digital on August 27 and will be based in New York.
CNN Digital adds Photography, Education, Identity, Innovation and Tech to Network of More than 50 Blogs
CNN Digital is once again amplifying its beat reporting and storytelling around topics that inspire passion and conversation with the launch of five blogs focusing on photography, identity, education, innovation and technology.
“These beats are the latest in our strategy to extend CNN’s coverage beyond breaking news and into deeper areas of interest,” said Meredith Artley, managing editor of CNN Digital. “We know that these topics are among the ones that resonate with audiences across our digital platforms.”
While much of the country struggles to emerge from a recession, California’s Silicon Valley is booming, and technology companies like Facebook, Skype, and Apple are seeing their valuations soar. CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien reports that the ownership of this digital bloom is mostly young, white, and male. For her fourth Black in America documentary, O’Brien asks why, according to industry analyst CB Insights, less than one percent of all venture capital money went to digital startups with African-American founders in 2010 – and she profiles a unique, technology-focused “accelerator” developed to help African-American digital entrepreneurs secure funding to establish their businesses.
Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley will debut on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8:00p.m. ET & PT and replay on Nov. 13 at 11:00p.m. ET & PT. It will also replay on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET & PT on CNN/U.S. FULL POST
CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien traces the U.S. Olympic dreams of female flyweight fighter Marlen Esparza. The International Olympic Committee has finally allowed women’s boxing for the 2012 games, the last female sport excluded from the world’s most prestigious sporting competition. The one-hour documentary reflects the lives of girls who typically box in this country – generally young women from ‘blue collar’ backgrounds, often women of color who must focus and train against a backdrop of challenging family struggles. Frequently, they must also fight for acceptance in their communities for their competition in traditionally a man’s sport, as a pathway to success for themselves and their families, and positive recognition for their communities.
For In Her Corner: Latino in America, O’Brien profiles Houston-based, Mexican-American fighter Esparza. Esparza aims to push aside negative stereotypes of her community, while pursuing her dream to represent America for Olympic Gold. In Her Corner debuts on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8:00pm ET and PT, and replays Saturday, Oct. 1 at 8:00pm ET and PT. FULL POST
Among the heroes of September 11th were female rescue workers who raced to the Twin Towers in the wake of the attack. Anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien tells the stories of female law enforcement officers, fire fighters, EMS workers and others who spent their lives defying macho stereotypes as they fought for access to jobs that require them to risk their lives for others. Among the heroines is an African-American probationary firefighter whose company lost 7 of the 343 that died that day, and a young mother and decorated police officer last seen directing others to safety just before the WTC collapsed. O’Brien profiles these unsung heroes and, of the survivors, reports their present-day health struggles, their continuing mourning, and their determination to be prepared for the next attack.
This documentary now debuts MONDAY, Sept. 5 at 11:00 pm ET & PT and replays on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 9:00pm ET.
During the week leading up to the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, CNN will premiere four one-hour productions on its domestic network. In investigations led by chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, investigative correspondent Drew Griffin, and anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, CNN is reporting new insights into the health consequences experienced by the first responders working at New York’s Ground Zero, examining the events of that day through the eyes of people who were on the front lines of one of America’s most tragic days, and profiling several unsung heroines who saved lives on that day. A fourth presentation from TIME in association with HBO features a collection of TIME magazine oral histories from people who experienced the events of that day as they unfolded, and their reflections as the nation reacted in the days, months, and years afterwards.
“It was a day that changed us all and CNN is leveraging its unmatched resources to cover remembrances from around the nation and the world as we look back on 9/11 and what it means a decade later,” says Bart Feder, senior vice president of programming for CNN. “In addition, these documentaries tell stories we feel will evoke pride in the heroism and bravery of the Americans who risked their lives, and some who sacrificed themselves on that day to save others. And, they present an opportunity to remember the difficult work of first responders – and our servicemen and women on the front lines overseas – who continue to try to keep this nation safe each day.” FULL POST
Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America airs Sunday, August 14 at 8:00pm ET & PT on CNN/U.S.
Sharples, West Virginia – population: around 100 people – is ground zero in the fight over an issue of importance to every American who has ever plugged in a computer, watched a television or taken a hot shower. Around 50 percent of electrical power in the United States is produced by coal. Across the nation, a schism that separates pro-coal and pro-environment movements over mountaintop removal, a destructive yet highly effective form of strip mining, is deepening.
CNN documents the intense struggle over mountaintop removal in Battle for Blair Mountain: Working in America, debuting on Sunday, August 14 at 8:00pm ET and PT, with a replay on Saturday, August 20. Anchor and Special Correspondent Soledad O’Brien examines the fight over Spruce One, one of the largest mountaintop removal sites ever proposed in the U.S. When O’Brien’s team first arrived in Sharples, W.V., nearly everyone in Appalachia was waiting to see if the Environmental Protection Agency was going to allow Spruce One’s permit to proceed, citing Clean Water Act violations.