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Awards Edward Murrow

News and Documentary Emmy Awards

The “News & Documentary Emmy Awards“, commonly referred to as the “News & Documentary Emmys“, form an integral part of the diverse set of Emmy Awards. These prestigious accolades are granted to American television shows that stand out in terms of their artistic flair and technical prowess. Presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), the News & Documentary Emmys celebrate the best in American news broadcasting and documentary filmmaking.

The Emmy Awards ceremonies are often held during the fall, featuring about 40 distinct award categories. While most categories are dedicated to national programming, only two focus on local news programming. For the majority of local news and documentary awards, recipients are honored during the Regional Emmys.

Previously, news and documentaries were included in the Primetime Emmy Awards categories until 1975. However, they have had their dedicated event since 1980.

Historical Moments at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards

The history of the “News & Documentary Emmy Awards” is filled with memorable moments that reflect the times. For example, the post-9/11 years saw several awards being given to documentaries and news programs that helped make sense of that tragic event and its aftermath.

There have also been instances when the awards mirrored significant changes within the industry. The advent of digital journalism has been recognized through the “New Approaches” categories, a nod to the changing landscape of news and documentary filmmaking.

In terms of individual achievements, notable past winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award include esteemed journalists such as Ted Koppel and Bill Moyers, and iconic documentarians like Ken Burns. These figures have been celebrated for their profound impact on television news and documentary formats.

The Rules of Engagement

For a series, documentary, or news item to qualify, it must make its initial debut on American television during the eligibility period, from January 1 to December 31. Furthermore, it should reach at least 50% of the American audience. Foreign-produced shows are typically excluded unless they were co-produced with an American partner and initially intended for American television.

In terms of local news programming, only news stories that have previously won a Regional Emmy can compete in the two award categories: Outstanding Regional Story: Spot News and Outstanding Regional Story: Investigative Reporting.

Submissions should be made by March. Most categories necessitate the inclusion of DVDs or tape masters of the entry, although the New Approaches categories require online submissions. An accompanying one-page essay explaining why the entry deserves an Emmy is also obligatory.

The Judging Process

Between May and June, peer judging panels, consisting of individuals with vast experience in national news or documentary production or reporting, cast their votes. Most categories go through two rounds of voting, each having different judges. The highest-rated entries in each category are declared the “nominations,” and the best among these, announced during the awards presentation, win the Emmy.

Behind the Scenes of the Awards

A lot of work goes into the organization of the “News & Documentary Emmy Awards”. Behind the scenes, an army of dedicated professionals from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) ensures a seamless selection process and an impressive award ceremony. From verifying eligibility, organizing the judging process, and tallying the votes, to managing the event’s logistics – every aspect is meticulously planned and executed.

Award Categories: National & Regional

The award categories are divided into national and regional segments, each recognizing different aspects and areas of news and documentary broadcasting.

The Impact of the “News & Documentary Emmy Awards”

The “News & Documentary Emmy Awards” have a significant impact on the television industry. They acknowledge and celebrate the very best in news reporting and documentary filmmaking, two genres that are central to our understanding of the world.

These awards play an important role in maintaining high standards of news reporting and documentary filmmaking. They encourage professionals within the industry to strive for excellence and to push the boundaries of what’s achievable within these formats.

The recognition that comes with an Emmy win or nomination can elevate a career, provide opportunities for more challenging and significant work, and open doors within the industry. Moreover, for the winners, the awards serve as a testament to their hard work, creativity, and dedication to their craft.

Recalling the 43rd News and Documentary Emmy Awards

The “43rd News and Documentary Emmy Awards,” presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), recognized exceptional American news and narrative programming from 2021. The winners were unveiled during two ceremonies streamed live on Watch.TheEmmys.TV and other associated apps, and hosted at the Palladium Times Square in New York City. The news categories winners were revealed on September 28, 2022, and the documentary categories winners were announced the following day.

The nominations were declared on July 28, 2022. ABC led the race with 39 nominations, followed by Vice’s VICE News Tonight and HBO’s HBO Documentary Films, each with 19 nominations. Notably, Judy Woodruff, managing editor of PBS NewsHour, and Sir David Attenborough, a respected filmmaker and scientist, both received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 44th News & Documentary Emmy Nominations

Recently, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the nominees for the 44th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards, set to be presented at two separate ceremonies on September 27 and 28.

The News and Documentary Emmys will be hosted at the Palladium Times Square in New York City and broadcast on the NATAS viewing platform, sponsored by Vimeo. Additionally, viewers will have access to the live event via The Emmy’s applications for iOS, tvOS, Android, FireTV, and Roku.