The Society of Professional Journalists named The Weather Channel, Telemundo, The Investigative Fund and Efran Films, represented by John Carlos Frey, Marisa Venegas, Solly Granatstein, Esther Kaplan, Neil Katz, Shawn Efran and Gregorty Gilderman the recipient of the its New American Award. The SPJ award honors work that explores and exposes issues of importance to immigration or ethic communities living in the U.S. The winning documentary, “The Real Death Valley: Dying to Cross” is a rare collaboration to record the experience of today’s migrants and to investigate hundreds of migrant deaths in one area conspicuously distant from the U.S.- Mexico border.
“The reporters and production teams demonstrated the best combination of enterprise, compassion and journalistic skill on this horrific tale,” said Sonny Albarado, SPJ Past President and one of the three award judges. “In a year when news organizations found myriad ways to tell essentially the same story about a tidal wave of undocumented immigrants, The Weather Channel, Telemundo, The Investigative Fund and Efran Films highlighted an ongoing tragedy and held a federal agency accountable for its lack of action. Excellent work by all involved.”
The New America Award has been in existence for 11 years. This year’s recipients will be honored Sept. 20 at the SPJ President’s Installation Banquet during the 2015 Excellence in Journalism conference in Orlando, Florida.