Investigative reporter Charlie Specht and photographer Jeff Wick have won the 2020 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for their work investigating the Catholic Church.

WKBW-TV’s I-Team led by lead reporter Charlie Specht has picked up some prestigious hardware for his work in investigating sexual abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The pair will be recognized in January 2020 for their piece, “Fall From Grace: When Priests Prey and Bishops Betray.”

The duPont-Columbia Award recognizes the “highest standards of journalism” on an annual basis in the hopes of informing the public about the journalists’ contributions.

Photographer Jeff Wick holding a video camera

Specht, who joined the ABC affiliate in August of 2016, worked on the story about the diocese starting in 2018 with photographer Jeff Wick (right). The reporting focused on the fact that Bishop Richard Malone didn’t take action against priests with allegations of misconduct and abuse of a sexual nature.

Specht and Wick are in illustrious company with this award. Other organizations in the group of 15 other awardees include MSNBC and Rachel Maddow, 60 Minutes, Michigan Radio & NPR, and Frontline.

“This important work is all coming at a time of increase mistrust in powerful institutions. Journalists are playing a critical role in hold the powerful accountable, and we are proud to honor these duPont winners for their commitment,” said Cheryl Gould, the jury chair for the duPont awards.

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