NEW YORK — The fifth annual World Hunger Media Awards, scheduled for unveiling at ceremonies Tuesday at the United Nations, indicate a shift in focus this year away from African famine to America's homeless and hungry.
The awards, funded and presented by singer-songwriter Kenny Rogers and his wife, Marianne, were founded by the Rogerses and the late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin to honor journalists who "bring public attention to the issue of world hunger."
This year, $100,000 in prize money went to winners in eight categories.
"The media is fickle," said Kenny Rogers, acknowledging the shift in focus.
Citing the fact that the war against drugs has become the "trendy" issue this year in the media, Rogers said of the annual awards, "You need to keep finding new ways to stimulate consciousness--or guilt--and this is one way that we hope will lead to others."
NBC-TV's "Today" show hosts Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel were the scheduled hosts of this year's awards, seven of which were to books, periodicals, cartoons, photojournalists, films, newspapers, radio, and television that focused on hunger in America.