Fusion Wins Its First Dupont Award for Investigative Report ‘The Naked Truth: Death by Fentanyl’

Dec 15, 2016

NEW YORK, DECEMBER 15, 2016 — It was announced today that FUSION’s signature investigative series ‘The Naked Truth’ has won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for its report ‘Death by Fentanyl,’ which was first broadcast in January 2016. While the media and the presidential candidates were talking about the deadly impact of heroin earlier this year during the New Hampshire primaries, FUSION’s investigative team took an in-depth look at the drug killing even more people: fentanyl, a synthetic opiate similar to heroin, but far more powerful. At the time, Fentanyl was involved in 253 of the 351 opiate overdoses in New Hampshire, whereas heroin alone was the cause of 28 deaths in the state. This FUSION investigation tracked the Fentanyl epidemic from victim to source, taking viewers from New England to Wall Street to the land of ‘El Chapo’ to understand why so many are getting hooked and dying — and how pharmaceutical companies contribute to the problem.

In fact, last week FUSION reported that six pharmaceutical executives who worked for fentanyl company Insys Therapeutics, including a former CEO, were arrested and charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to defraud insurance companies and bribe doctors to prescribe their powerful and addictive opioid painkiller. Earlier in the year, a whistleblower featured in the FUSION documentary claimed that Insys regularly misled insurance companies to believe prospective patients had cancer when they did not.

“Death by Fentanyl” was reported by Mariana van Zeller, who had been reporting on prescription drug abuse in the United States for years – first with her Peabody-award winning documentary “The OxyContin Express” (2009). The report was produced by Darren Foster and Cristina Costantini. “The Naked Truth” is executive produced by Keith Summa and Nina Alvarez served as senior producer.

Regarded today as one of the most prestigious prizes in broadcast and digital news, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, the duPont-Columbia Awards have recognized excellence in broadcast journalism for over 70 years. A full list of this year’s 14 winning reports can be found here.

Contact: David Ford 305-925-8882

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