Late last year, Weekend All Things Considered aired this piece about Navajo children taken in by white Mormon foster families as part of the series Worlds of Difference. It just won the Edward R. Murrow Award for News Documentary presented by the Radio-Television News Directors Association.
Reporter/producer Kate Davidson spent a year researching Saints and Indians. Editor Deborah George told me one of the things she loved about this piece was its complexity. "Some of the children [looking back now as adults] were really traumatized. Others are grateful; they're Mormons today. It's not a black and white story."
It is a story that catapults you completely into this moment in history. One of the former placement children wonders, "What is culture, and when is it good and when is it bad? And what's sacred about it?" You won't have any easy answers from this vividly told and touching story about a unique American experience.
And Day to Day's executive producer says kudos are due also to reporter Joshua Levs and his editor Michael Fields "on winning not one, but two Edward R. Murrow Awards: for Best News Series, "Katrina Odyssey," and for Best Feature Reporting, which was one particular story from the series called "Returning to the Ruins."
Update: Kate Davidson just called to alert me to two errors. The piece aired early last year, not late last year. Furthermore, the quote about culture comes not from one of the placement children, but a former director of the Indian Placement Program. Mea culpa.