Al Jazeera Documentary “Secrets of the Clergy” Wins Prestigious Wilbur Award for Investigative Journalism

By Richmond Acheampong II Contributor
International Al Jazeera Documentary Secrets of the Clergy Wins Prestigious Wilbur Award for Investigative Journalism

Al Jazeera English’s documentary “Secrets of the Clergy” has clinched the distinguished Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council, affirming its commitment to insightful journalism.

The announcement came during the Religion Communicators Council’s annual convention in Louisville, United States, on April 5th. Alongside Al Jazeera, notable recipients included Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) News, Associated Press (AP), and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

“Secrets of the Clergy” delves into the intricate issue of child sexual abuse within religious communities, shedding light on how mandatory reporting laws in the U.S often fail to bring justice. The film exposes a concerning reality: in numerous states, church officials aren’t mandated to report instances of child abuse, allowing the heinous crimes to remain concealed and survivors bereft of justice.

Brad Pomerance, RCC’s Wilbur Award coordinator, expressed honour in acknowledging outstanding work like that of “Secrets of the Clergy”, emphasizing the importance of maintaining quality, compassion, and professionalism in faith and religion coverage.

Kavitha Chekuru, Senior Producer of Fault Lines, expressed deep gratitude for the recognition, attributing the success to the courage of those who shared their stories, particularly survivors of abuse.

Issa Ali, Acting Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, extended sincere congratulations to the team, highlighting their dedication to delivering unbiased perspectives on critical global issues.

Established in 1929, the Religion Communicators Council collaborates with faith-based organizations in communications, public relations, and marketing. The Wilbur Awards, initiated in 1949, recognize excellence in secular media across various platforms.

Al Jazeera English has garnered widespread acclaim for its journalistic endeavours, earning accolades from distinguished organizations in the U.S., U.K and beyond. The Fault Lines team previously received a Wilbur Award in 2020 for “In Bad Faith” and has been honored with multiple News and Documentary Emmy awards, Overseas Press Club Awards, and Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for their commitment to human rights reporting.