‘Frontline,’ ‘POV’ tie for best documentary at news Emmy Awards

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An exhausted Dr. Susan Robinson takes a break in After Tiller, which profiles the lives of abortion providers following the murder of Dr. George Tiller. The film tied for best documentary at Monday night’s News and Documentary Emmy Awards. (Photo: After Tiller)

An exhausted Dr. Susan Robinson takes a break in After Tiller, which profiles the lives of abortion providers following the murder of Dr. George Tiller. The film tied for best documentary at Monday night’s News and Documentary Emmy Awards. (Photo: After Tiller)

PBS was the big winner at Monday night’s News and Documentary Emmy Awards in New York City.

The public broadcaster won 17 statuettes. Coming in second was CBS with nine.

The best documentary prize was a public media tie: Frontline’s United States of Secrets, about the government spying on U.S. citizens, and POV’s After Tiller, profiling physicians carrying on in the wake of an abortion provider’s murder.

The nonprofit Texas Observer, collaborating with Guardian US, claimed the statuette for new approaches to current news coverage for Beyond the Border: The U.S.’s Deadly Immigration Crisis, reporting on a Texas sheriff’s office struggling with dwindling resources and a growing immigration crisis. That four-part print and multimedia series also claimed an Online News Association award Saturday.

In addition to best documentary, Frontline won five more of PBS’s awards. Firestone and the Warlord, an investigation with ProPublica of the relationship between the U.S. firm and Liberian warlord Charles Taylor, won two, for research and long-form investigative journalism; The Battle for Ukraine, for coverage of a breaking news story in a news magazine; and Hunting Boko Haram, about Nigeria’s dangerous Islamic extremist group, for investigative journalism in a news magazine. United States of Secrets also won for long-form coverage of a current story.

Nature won two awards for Snow Monkeys, about macaques living in Japan’s mountains. That took awards for nature programming and documentary and long-form cinematography. Animal Misfits, profiling odd creatures, won for music and sound, and the sizzle reel “New Season of Nature: Sneak Preview” won for promotional announcement.

PBS’s documentary showcases claimed a total of four awards. Independent Lens won the long-form business and economic reporting Emmy for Medora, about a financially struggling Indiana town. The Trials of Muhammad Ali, about the boxer’s political activism struggles, claimed the award in long-form historical programming. In addition to After Tiller, POV also won in the long-form informational programming category for When I Walk, about one man’s fight to adapt his life to multiple sclerosis.

PBS NewsHour claimed two honors, for Hazardous Work: Diving into the Philippines Dangerous Mines, chronicling divers hunting for gold, and Who’s Behind The Chinese Takeover Of The World’s Biggest Pork Producer?, a look inside Smithfield Foods, which it shared with the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Your Inner Fish, a three-part PBS science series on evolution, also shared an Emmy for graphic design and art direction with National Geographic Wild’s Future Cat.

A full list of the winners is here.