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Winners of 2002 George Polk Awards Cover Turbulent Times


Journalists tackling tough issues in turbulent times are among those honored with 14 George Polk Awards for 2002. Their extraordinary work covered issues ranging from the conflict in the Middle East to the crisis in the Catholic Church to the disturbing plight of the mentally ill.

Established by Long Island University in 1949 to memorialize a CBS correspondent who was murdered while covering a civil war in Greece, the George Polk Awards rank among America’s most coveted journalism honors.

Among the honorees is Morley Safer of CBS News, who received the Career Award for his more than three decades as co-editor of “60 Minutes” in a career that also includes breakthrough coverage of the Vietnam War. His 1965 broadcast of United States Marines burning the village of Cam Ne helped turn the tide of public opinion about that conflict and transform war reporting forever. Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario and photographer Don Bartletti won the International Reporting award for “Enrique’s Journey,” a series that retraced the harrowing trip of a Honduran youth to the United States, capturing the hardships faced by desperate Latin Americans, including tens of thousands of children, who migrate north each year.

At an April 9 panel moderated by Brooklyn Campus journalism professor Mike Bush, Nazario and Safer took part in the Annual George Polk Awards Seminar at the HBO Theater in Manhattan, discussing, “The Power of the Image in International Reporting.” The awards were formally presented the next day at a luncheon in the Roosevelt Hotel.

Said Ralph Engelman, also a Brooklyn Campus journalism professor, “As exemplified by the work of veterans like Morley Safer, this year's Polk Awards underscore the emotional impact and power of great journalism.”

The George Polk Awards Web site lists all the winners and this year, for the first time, all of the honored work — a unique and powerful collection of the year’s best in journalism — can be viewed through links to the site (Go to www.liu.edu and click on George Polk Awards in Journalism)

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