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CNN’s Sanjay Gupta Is Awarded Brooks Jackson Prize for Fact-Checking

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, has been awarded the Brooks Jackson Prize for Fact-Checking for his work correcting Covid-19 misinformation.

Logo used for Cronkite/Jackson Prize announcementThe Cronkite/Jackson Prize, as it is also known, administered by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, is part of the biennial Walter Cronkite Awards for excellence in television political journalism, presented by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s Norman Lear Center.

The awards were presented in a virtual ceremony on July 29, 2021. See videos about the winners.

The jury for the Cronkite/Jackson Prize praised Gupta as an important voice through the pandemic, working in a variety of media formats, including on-air fact-checking segments, town halls, and a Covid-19 podcast. The jury said:

“Dr. Gupta has been a consistent and reliable messenger for accurate information. He delivers the facts clearly and states them with purpose and authority.”

The Jackson Prize honors Brooks Jackson, the veteran journalist who co-founded in 2003 at the Annenberg Public Policy Center with APPC director Kathleen Hall Jamieson. Jackson, the director emeritus of, had previously worked for news organizations including the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, and CNN. At CNN he pioneered the “ad watch” and “fact check” formats of stories debunking false and misleading political statements.

In an interview, APPC Director Kathleen Hall Jamieson spoke with Gupta about his work.

The Cronkite Awards, named for the legendary journalist and CBS evening television news anchor, spotlight journalism “that seeks truths, examines inequities, serves the public and demonstrates the indispensability of a free and trustworthy press,” according to USC Annenberg.

Marty Kaplan, professor at USC Annenberg and director of its Norman Lear Center, said, “In his time, Walter Cronkite had the courage to report the reality of the Vietnam War to the American people. In our time, these Cronkite Award winners have the courage to report that reality really exists.”

Entries for the 2021 Cronkite Awards were, for the first time, limited to three subject categories: systemic racism, the coronavirus pandemic, and the integrity of elections. The 2021 Cronkite Award winners are:

  • PBS Frontline for “Policing the Police 2020,” on the half-decade struggle to fix the relationship between the police department and the residents of Newark, N.J.
  • 12 News, KPNX, the Tegna-owned NBC affiliate in Phoenix, Ariz., for its documentary on systemic racism, “The Work Is Hard and Not Done: Being Black in the Valley.”
  • CBS News, “Bravery and Hope: 7 Days on the Front Line,” about a Bronx, N.Y., hospital at the pandemic’s epicenter.
  • CNN, “Coronavirus Outbreak in China,” with some of the first reporting to emerge from Wuhan before the outbreak was declared a pandemic.
  • TMJ4 News, the Scripps-owned NBC affiliate in Milwaukee, Wis., “Unemployment System Collapse,” about Wisconsin’s dangerously outdated unemployment system.
  • NBC Montana, a Sinclair-owned station, for Maritsa Georgiou’s reporting on “USPS Blue Box Removals.”

Read more about the winners in the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center’s announcement.

Read about the past several winners of the Cronkite/Jackson Prize here, here and here.

Originally posted on June 2, 2021, this story was updated on July 29 following the online ceremony.