NEW YORK — "Nova," PBS' science news program, won the highest honor at the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism.
Columbia University President George Rupp said that "Nova," winner of the Gold Baton award, "brings us elegant photography, thorough research, often suspense and always good reporting--to teach us about our world."
"Nova," produced at WGBH-TV in Boston, was honored for five programs: "Everest: The Death Zone," about the storm that killed eight climbers in a day at the world's tallest mountain; "The Brain Eater," about "mad cow" disease; "Supersonic Spies," about Soviet spying on the British and French race to produce the world's first supersonic passenger airplane; "China's Mysterious Mummies," about artifacts found in the deserts of central Asia; and "Coma," about the treatment of patients with severe head injuries.
The awards presentation was televised Thursday night on PBS stations.
The jury also awarded 11 Silver Batons for excellence in television and radio journalism for 1997-98.
Those winners were:
* ABC News' "Nightline" for "Crime & Punishment," a four-part series on how inmates live in maximum-security prisons.
* CBS News' "60 Minutes" for a three-part report on how the international pharmaceutical industry preys on the sick, particularly in developing countries.