Nov. 13, 2007
Below are two excerpts from a video made of the 2007 John Chancellor awards ceremony.
It was on Nov. 13, 2007 that the award named for longtime NBC News anchor John Chancellor went to Ofra Bikel for her work with the PBS series FRONTLINE. Bikel’s Frontline work included the Innocence Lost series about the Little Rascals Day Care case.
Attending the awards ceremony at Columbia University and speaking before Bikel accepted the award were Elizabeth “Betsy” Kelly and her sister, Nancy Smith Barrow. Kelly owned Little Rascals, was charged in the case and went to jail. Articles on this site about both Kelly and Barrow are accessible in the Archive.
The Chancellor award, “founded in 1995, is presented each year to a reporter with courage and integrity for cumulative professional accomplishments,” according to the award website.
The awards committee said Bikel’s “documentaries have freed more innocent prisoners than many professionals in the criminal justice system. Powerful, persuasive and relentless, her programs reveal hard truths about an American justice system that is at times vulnerable to ambition, racism, inertia, pride, haste, hysteria, corruption and a host of other human frailties.”
Comments by Elizabeth Kelly and Nancy Smith Barrow
Ofra Bikel’s acceptance speech