Outstanding newspaper, television and Internet reports that promote public understanding of colon and rectal disease were selected as winners of the Society’s 2010 National Media Awards competition. This year’s winners are:
- Heidi Hall, The Tennessean, Nashville, TN, for “Needless Death;”
- The Doctors, Stage 29 Productions & CBS Television Distribution, Hollywood, CA, for “Medical Procedures You Shouldn’t Fear,” and “Is It In Your Genes?”
- Christopher Springmann, On The Path Productions, San Francisco, CA, for “Ulcerative Colitis.”
Heidi Hall, Joni Busby (center), and Christopher Springmann were honored for multimedia reports that promoted the public’s understanding of
colon and rectal disease.
Print Award Winner: Heidi Hall
Judges gave Hall’s multi-part series, “Needless Death,” high marks for clearly demonstrating why cancer death rates are disproportionately high in Tennessee. While observing that smoking cessation programs would cut the state’s lung cancer rate, Hall also finds that Tennesseans are “unduly resigned to higher rates of colorectal cancer as well – cancer that could be reduced through screening colonoscopies and healthier lifestyles,” judges said.
Broadcast Award Winner: “The Doctors”
Judges praised “The Doctors,” a syndicated television program, for two segments covering colon cancer. “Medical Procedures You Shouldn’t Fear” features a pediatrician with a strong family history of the disease undergoing a colonoscopy.
During the procedure, the gastroenterologist “identifies and removes several polyps, all while explaining to viewers – watching the colonoscopy – the importance of the procedure in preventing cancer,” judges wrote.
“Is it in Your Genes?” covers a virtual colonoscopy performed on a patient who lost 200 pounds following gastric bypass surgery. Bringing the patient on the show “created a compelling message – and helped viewers understand the important role of virtual colonoscopy for this patient, who had a great deal of scar tissue from her surgery that would have made conventional colonoscopy more difficult,” judges added.
Internet Award Winner: Christopher Springmann
Judges applauded On the Path Productions’ Christopher Springmann for creating “Ulcerative Colitis,” a podcast available on www.bodylanguage.org. Judges called it a “well-produced and well-written 90-second interview with a gastroenterologist” that conveys the reluctance of young patients to seek treatment for a serious and sometimes embarrassing illness “with passion and clarity.”
The winners were chosen from entries submitted by newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations, and Websites from around the country. Winners received a $1,000 cash prize, a plaque, and an expense-paid trip to Minneapolis, MN, site of the ASCRS 2010 Annual Meeting.
ASCRS began the National Media Awards in 1995 to acknowledge achievement in communication to promote a greater public understanding of colon and rectal disease, such as colon cancer, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and Crohn’s Disease.
Judges from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, selected the winning entries after evaluation and screening for medical accuracy by members of the ASCRS Public Relations Committee. They evaluate the journalistic merit of each submission based on writing quality, amount of research, production excellence, impact of message and originality.