Paul Solman Wins Business Emmy for Unemployment Reporting

BY Carolyn O'Hara  December 7, 2009 at 6:39 PM EST

At the 7th Annual Business & Financial Emmy Awards luncheon today, Paul Solman and team won an Emmy for outstanding coverage of a current business news story for “Faces Behind the Numbers,” a duo of pieces on U.S. unemployment. The pieces were selected from the monthly segments Paul and team produce on the latest jobs numbers. After receiving the award, Paul reported back to say:

“Such a great reminder of how collaborative video is. Without Lee Koromvokis, Diane Lincoln, Brian Gill, Bob Burns, Bob Hartman, Joeshawn Williams, Bobby Williams, Andrew Theising, not to mention all the other people (too many to name) in these stories, this recognition would have been literally inconceivable. Honest.”

The two segments honored today both aimed to highlight and humanize the monthly unemployment statistics. In industry-abandoned East St. Louis, Illinois, Racial Divide, which aired May 8, explores the especially acute (and acutely underappreciated) crisis of unemployed inner-city African Americans, especially with respect to their lack of social capital.To accompany the piece, Paul spoke to Duke economist William Darity in a special online-only video about ‘colorism’ in the labor market — why darker skinned black men face greater discrimination and lower wages in the labor market than lighter skinned black men. And in Sharing the Pain, aired April 3, Paul reported on how many workers are taking cuts in pay and hours to avoid wider layoffs at their businesses. From factory workers agreeing to cuts in their hours (“This way more people get to work…I don’t mind giving up a little for the greater good of the whole.”) to surgical chiefs of staff agreeing to cuts in pay (“we were able to come up with $350,000 …to put back into the hospital, to try to save jobs.”), Paul found how some are embracing selflessness so that others feel less economic pain.To accompany that piece, Paul spoke with Paul Levy, the president of Boston’s Beth Israel medical center, about how the hospital managed its share-the-pay-cut initiative, step-by-step, so that other organizations might follow its example. Update: Congratulations also go out to our PBS colleagues at Frontline, who won a Business Emmy today for their excellent documentary, The Madoff Affair.