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NAMI to Present Outstanding Media Awards at Annual Convention

Media Members Recognized for Reporting Benefiting
Those with Mental Illnesses

For Immediate Release, June 16, 2000
Contacts: Mary Rappaport 703-524-7600


San Diego, CA - Representatives from the media and entertainment industries will be honored tonight for their outstanding achievement by The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). NAMI will present its Outstanding Media Awards during its annual convention to select members of the media for their accurate and balanced presentation of people with mental illnesses.

"NAMI is delighted to recognize these members of the media for all that they have done in the past year to increase the awareness, understanding, and support of those who have mental illnesses," said NAMI President Jackie Shannon. "We honor them for shedding light on the truths about mental illness, providing national coverage on the advancements, treatments, and even obstacles faced each and every day by people with these diseases."

Each year, NAMI recognizes members of the media who have made outstanding contributions to mental health issues, specifically ones that have broadened the awareness of readers or viewers where the subject of mental illness is concerned. The awardees are from both large and small media outlets, and from all parts of the nation.

More than 2,000 family members, consumers of mental health services, health care providers, researchers, and business leaders from around the country will attend NAMI's convention, a five-day event comprised of workshops and activities focused on the theme "Turning Promise into Practice." Seven members of the media from coast-to-coast were recognized by NAMI for their reporting efforts toward ending discrimination against persons with severe mental illnesses.

NAMI's Outstanding Media Award Recipients:

  • Outstanding Media Award: Investigative Reporting - Daily Newspaper
    Debbie Cenziper
    , "Broken Trust"
    The Charlotte Observer, January 23-26, 2000
    This award to reporter Debbie Cenziper of The Charlotte Observer is for her thorough examination of North Carolina's lacking mental health system. Ms. Cenziper exposed 35 unreported and/or uninvestigated deaths that have occurred during the past several years in private and public mental health facilities, and a longstanding pattern of the state's failure to provide adequate oversight and protection for its most vulnerable citizens.

  • Outstanding Media Award: Editorial Writing - Daily Newspaper
    Robert Landauer
    , Editorial Writing
    The Oregonian, March 19-24, 2000
    This award to Robert Landauer is for a series of insightful editorials that examined the efforts of public agencies in Multnomah County, Oregon, to treat the indigent mentally ill. His editorials went the extra step by offering concrete recommendations on how to fix the mental health system.

  • Outstanding Media Award: Science Writing - National Newspaper
    Elyse Tanouye
    , "New Weapons in the War on Schizophrenia"
    The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 1999
    This award went to staff writer Elyse Tanouye for her extensive report on scientific breakthroughs in the understanding of schizophrenia and on the array of new effective treatments that are now available for this debilitating disorder.

  • Outstanding Media Award: Overall Reporting - News Magazine
    Norman Pearlstine
    , Editor-in-Chief, TIME
    This award is presented to TIME for consistent, balanced reporting during the past year on issues related to mental illness, including important scientific and policy developments. This year, TIME contributed significantly to raising public awareness and encouraging discussion of critical issues arising out of the White House Conference on Mental Health and the Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health.

  • Outstanding Media Award: Feature Reporting - Television Network News
    Geoff Stephens
    , Special Projects Producer, "Awakening"
    Dateline NBC, August 20, 1999
    Geoff Stephens is recognized for this outstanding half-hour Dateline NBC segment, which documented for two years Luca Moylan's story, the inspiring journey of a young man's brave struggle with schizophrenia.

  • Outstanding Media Award: Educational Programming - Television
    Oprah Winfrey
    , Supervising Producer, "The Explosive Child"
    The Oprah Winfrey Show, February 18, 2000
    This award is given to the Oprah Winfrey Show for its sensitive, yet realistic depiction and discussion of explosive behaviors in children triggered by brain disorders, including bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and oppositional defiance disorder.

  • Outstanding Media Award: Entertainment - Dramatic Series
    Marshall Hershovitz and Edward Zwick
    , Executive Producers
    "Thanksgiving," November 23, 1999 episode
    "Strangers and Brothers," March 13, 2000 episode
    Once & Again, ABC Entertainment
    Marshall Hershovitz and Edward Zwick are recognized for bringing an accurate and respectful portrayal of severe mental illness to the American viewing public. In these episodes of ABC's weekly dramatic series, Once & Again, a new character, Aaron, is introduced as a brother of one of the main characters. Aaron has schizophrenia and his long institutionalization had been kept a dark family secret because of the stigma associated with mental illness.


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