Friday, January 23, 2015

Guardianship series earns second duPont for WFTS

I-Team accepts award at Columbia University

NEW YORK - The ABC Action News I-Team was awarded one of American broadcast journalism's highest honors Tuesday evening for "Incapacitated: Florida's Guardianship Program," a months-long expose of how the state supervises the court appointees who make financial, medical and other decisions for senior citizens deemed no longer able to care for themselves.

Investigative reporter Adam Walser, investigative producer Fran Gilpin, photographer Randy Wright, and I-Team executive producer Doug Iten accepted a 2015 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award during ceremonies in New York City.

(For more about the I-Team's guardianship series, visit . A behind-the-scenes look at the series is available at .)

The duPont awards celebrate excellence in journalism and are regarded among the most prestigious prizes in broadcast, documentary and digital news – the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, which Columbia also administers.

The duPont jurors wrote that the I-Team "exposed astonishing stories of elderly people stripped of their rights and property by self-serving 'guardians.' Their homes, personal property and vehicles were often sold for a small percentage of their actual worth and then resold by guardians’ friends for huge profits."

In 2013, the I-Team initially focused on Willi Berchau, then 99, who had been locked in a dementia ward after being declared '"incapacitated" three times by court-appointed panels. After the I-Team began looking into his situation, Berchau was freed from the locked unit at a Pinellas County assisted-living facility and later was released from his guardianship when a fourth examination found him to be capable of handling his own affairs after all.  (Continue Reading)

Full Article & Source:
Guardianship series earns second duPont for WFTS


Ricky said...

They are my heroes!

Sylvia Rudek said...

I agree Ricky HEROES and a round of applause to the duPont jurors who voted for the best of the best!!

The entire USA is impacted by the hard work of the ABC Action News I-Team:

Reporter Adam Walser;
WFTS General Manager Nick Nicholson; Fran Gilpin investigative producer; I-Team Executive Producer Doug Iten; and photographer Randy Wright.

B Inberg said...

Giving a voice to those who have been silenced. No adequate words to express my deep appreciation I know I speak for an endless parade of supporters.

There is no doubt that Willi Berchau would have left this earth as a ward, a product of the protection industry turned into a racket.

May God Bless You for your heartfelt kindness to a stranger that evolved into a life changing event.

StandUp said...

I'm so happy for them. What an honor!