On October 5, the PBS NewsHour series “The End of AIDS?” won the 38th annual Emmy for Outstanding Science, Medical, and Environmental Reporting. The series, a collaboration between Science writer Jon Cohen and William Brangham and Jason Kane of NewsHour, beat out stories from CNN, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, and The Weather Channel. Brangham acknowleged the Pulitzer Center's key role, funding the project overall and suggesting the collaboration with Science: “We’re also hugely grateful to the Pulitzer Center," Brangham told the Emmy audience in New York. "Really, without their support, this series would not have happened.”
The Emmy adds to an already impressive list of accolades for the project, including awards from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine; the Association of Healthcare Journalists; and the CINE Golden Eagle Awards.
“The End of AIDS?” is part of a years-long Pulitzer initiative aimed at raising global awareness of HIV/AIDS. With support from the MAC AIDS Fund, the Pulitzer Center has facilitated dozens of stories from across the globe, for outlets ranging from The Atlantic and Buzzfeed to Scientific American, The Guardian and Nature. Much of this reporting is featured in To End AIDS, the free e-book published by the Pulitzer Center and the basis for online curricular material, also free, via the Center's online Lesson Builder.
Journalists working on HIV/AIDS issues under Pulitzer Center grants have spoken at dozens of universities, secondary schools and public conferences, including the last two gatherings of the International AIDS Conference. Symposia the Center has organized at partner universities include those at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Boston University. We've also showcased grantee work at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health Annual Conference. The Center has sponsored additional events with its Campus Consortium partners.
This is actually the second national Emmy awarded to a Pulitzer Center project on HIV/AIDS. In 2009, the Center won the Emmy for livehopelove.com, a multimedia online documentary centered on the work of poet Kwame Dawes. The project also featured photography, video, and original music; it eventually led to a performance piece that was featured at the National Black Theatre Festival. The innovative approach led to far more news coverage than would have been the case with a more conventional journalism approach.
The NewsHour series was similarly innovative. Jon Cohen is one of the premier print journalists on HIV/AIDS in the world. Matching him with the talented team at PBS NewsHour gave him—and them—the opportunity to reach millions of viewers with a story many hadn't known, on the startling advances now taking place in the battle to end AIDS once and for all (and on the places that haven't experienced these gains at all). Executive Director Jon Sawyer said that in its HIV/AIDS reporting, as in all of its work, the Pulitzer Center strives to bring to light stories that would otherwise go untold.
“The idea is simple," Sawyer said—"to engage as many people in as many different ways as possible, on the issues before this country and the world.”