For the first time in ESPN history, the company was selected for the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. The prime-time newsmagazine, E:60, was named the winner in the International Television category for their investigative feature “Qatar’s World Cup,” an in-depth look at the preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards celebrate excellence in investigative journalism on a wide spectrum of social justice issues. Judged by peers in the media, the awards recognize professionals and students in twelve domestic and international categories.
E:60 reporter Jeremy Schaap and producer Beein Gim will be recognized along with executive producer Andy Tennant, coordinating producer Michael Baltierra, and editor Tim Horgan.
“This unprecedented honor is another great example of our commitment to storytelling and enterprise reporting,” said John Skipper, ESPN President and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks.
Andy Tennant, E:60’s executive producer, added, “We are honored to be recognized for such a powerful, important story that we were the first to report for television. I am extremely proud of our team’s efforts to raise the bar for sports journalism on TV with integrity, including making a concerted effort to shine the light on human rights abuses connected to the world of sports across the globe. We’ve made an impact on the global discussion, raising awareness and effecting change. We have been covering stories no one else has covered, doing original reporting, and we believe in being there, sending our people into harm’s way to bring the story home to our audience. I think in particular our story on what is happening in Qatar changed the way the issue was perceived, even leading to a strong bipartisan response in Congress, where change is being demanded. No one else in the U.S. media had addressed the issue when we went there.”
More on E:60’s Qatar’s World Cup:
When FIFA surprised everyone and awarded the 2022 World Cup to the oil-rich Arab emirate of Qatar, the decision provoked huge controversy. Although the games have been moved to December to avoid the soaring summer temperatures, Qatar has few existing stadiums or infrastructure to host the world’s biggest sporting event. In its bid, the tiny nation on the Persian Gulf pledged to spend an estimated 220 billion dollars to build air-conditioned new stadiums, a rail and metro system, and more. But it is the human costs of the first World Cup in the Middle East that is the focus of this E:60 investigation. An estimated 4,000 immigrant workers “will die before a ball is kicked off in 2022”, according to a watchdog for workers’ rights.
The richest country in the world per capita, Qatar recruits workers from some of the poorest countries in the world – Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. The 1.4 million migrant workers make up 94 percent of the work force in a country with a population of two million. E:60 traveled to Qatar to investigate the working and living conditions, and to Nepal, where coffins from Qatar arrive almost daily.
The 47th Annual RFK Awards for Journalism will be presented at the Newseum in Washington, DC on May 21, 2015.
Contact: Carrie Kreiswirth 646-547-4686