FRONTLINE wins Polk Award

The PBS program FRONTLINE earned the George Polk Award for Documentary Television Reporting for “Money, Power and Wall Street,” a four-part investigation into the global financial crisis that aired in 2012, Long Island University announced.

Phil Bennett, the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy, is managing editor of FRONTLINE. The school’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy partnered with the “Money, Power and Wall Street,” series to launch Frontline Interviews, long-form online oral histories with key participants. The initiative was supported by DeWitt’s Rutherfurd Living History project. More than 150,000 people have watched the online interviews, Bennett said, increasing the reach of the investigative series.

“The four films in this series were a big, ambitious effort to tell the story of the financial meltdown and its transforming effects on the country,” Bennett said.  “We tried to make sense of its complexities -- working on the film, I finally understood credit default swaps --- and just as importantly to shine a light of accountability on Wall Street and Washington.”

The award was presented to correspondent Martin Smith and producer Michael Kirk. Producers Marcela Gaviria, Mike Wiser and Jim Gilmore assisted on the series. David Fanning is FRONTLINE’s executive producer.

The George Polk Awards are among America's most coveted journalism honors, and have been administered by Long Island University since 1949. They are named in honor of CBS correspondent George W. Polk, who was slain covering the civil war in Greece in 1948. In 2012, journalists submitted 700 entries in 14 categories. The awards will be presented on April 11 at a luncheon at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.