“Sold a Story” wins prestigious duPont-Columbia Award

Jan 31, 2024

The APM Reports podcast has been awarded one of the highest honors in broadcast journalism. 

ST PAUL, Minn., Jan. 31, 2024 – The groundbreaking investigative podcast “Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went so Wrong” has been awarded a duPont-Columbia Award. The six-part series exposed a national literacy crisis and has led to calls for change in classrooms nationwide. Since the podcast, at least 15 states have changed laws regarding reading instruction. 

"It’s a tremendous honor to receive this recognition from the duPont jury,” said Emily Hanford, host of the podcast and senior producer/correspondent for APM Reports. “I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this vital conversation and to shed light on how many schools have been teaching reading. This recognition underscores the urgency to uncover truths and address the challenges in literacy education.”   

Other journalists who contributed to the podcast include reporter Christopher Peak, producer Chris Julin and editor Catherine Winter. The duPont recognition adds to an impressive list of accolades for the “Sold a Story” team including: 

  • National Edward R. Murrow Award 

  • IRE Award for Longform Audio Journalism 

  • Scripps Howard Awards for Audio Storytelling and Journalism Impact 

  • Third Coast Award for Audio Impact 

  • 2024 Anthem Award for Education, Art & Culture Podcast or Audio 

The podcast has also resonated with listeners. It was the second most shared podcast of 2023 according to Apple Podcasts and Time Magazine ranked Sold a Story as one of its 10 Best Podcasts of 2023.  

The duPont-Columbia Awards are presented annually by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The awards are named in honor of Alfred I. duPont to celebrate “journalistic excellence, upholding the highest standards in journalism by recognizing those who contribute and supports journalism education and innovation, thereby cultivating a collective spirit for the profession.” 

“The national recognition of Sold a Story highlights the importance of this work and its impact in the national reading conversation,” said Tom Scheck, deputy managing editor for APM Reports. 

Sold a Story will release two new episodes soon. APM Reports will also release a two-episode Spanish language version of Sold a Story titled Sold a Story en español available next month.  


About APM Reports 

The APM Reports’ team of investigative journalists, producers, editors and researchers conduct in-depth reporting on issues that are often hidden from public view. APM Reports’ work includes the podcasts Sent Away, In Deep and the groundbreaking Sold a Story honored with IRE, Scripps Howard, Murrow and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards. APM Reports’ investigations and audio documentaries are published at APMReports.org. Follow along at @APMReports on Facebook and Instagram.