NABJ honors E:60, 30 for 30

CNN anchor Suzanne Malveaux, ESPN SportCenter anchor Jay Harris, and E:60 reporter Lisa Salters at NABJ.

ESPN’s primetime newsmagazine program E:60 earned another prestigious award this past weekend by taking honors in the Sports Features category at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) convention in Philadelphia.

The award was for a October 2010 story on Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew that was produced by Dave Salerno and reported by Lisa Salters. [Editor’s note: Salerno and Salters’ work most recent work can be seen by clicking here.]

The piece examined the close relationship Jones-Drew had with his late grandfather.

E:60 has received more than 20 industry awards since its launch in 2007, including two Sports Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award, and this was the program’s second NABJ Award.

“It’s always satisfying to be recognized for your work,” said Salters.

“You put so much time and effort into every one of your stories that it’s a great feeling to know that it resonated with people, and it moved and/or inspired people in the way that you hoped that it would.

“But for most of the stories that I do, in particular, all the thanks has to go to the interview subjects, in this case Maurice Jones-Drew.

“He really opened up and let us inside his family to tell his very personal and sensitive story about his relationship with his grandfather and his grandfather’s death. Without him opening up and being honest and raw, the story isn’t as good as it can be.

“He really did that and I hope that’s what resonated with the judges and our viewers.”

The NABJ also hailed ESPN’s 30 for 30 series of documentaries that aired October 2009-December 2010.

The project won the NABJ’s Best Practices Award, which honored 30 for 30 use of a diverse team of storytellers for the series.

The series employed African-American film directors John Singleton, Reggie Rock Bythewood for some of the documentaries, and the likes of Ice Cube, Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, and Kirk Fraser were among the contributors.

In a statement, NABJ President Kathy Y. Times said: “30 for 30 is indicative of the excellent contributions made by a brilliant and diverse team working behind the scenes.

“The NABJ board congratulates executive producers John Dahl, Connor Schell, NABJ member Keith Clinkscales and the ESPN team for including talented black filmmakers who hit an amazing home run.”

For more on ESPN and the NABJ convention, click here.

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