The 24th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards were presented by the National Television Academy here on Wednesday, September 3, 2003. One of the awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement by individuals and programs broadcast throughout the year, was presented to Mr. Serge Schmemann, Chairman of the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Communications.
Schmemann, currently the editorial page editor at the International Herald Tribune and a 1991 Pulitzer Prize winner for international reporting, received the Emmy for “Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Writing” because of his work on the New York Times produced documentary “Mortal Enemies”, which parallels the lives of Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon.
The program, broadcast on the Discovery Channel in 2002, examined the struggles between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen through the eyes of Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon. With interviews featuring both the closest comrades-in-arms and the fiercest of enemies of both Arafat and Sharon, the program portrayed a clear picture of two leaders in the volatile Middle East who are committed to the each other’s destruction.
“These awards are a recognition of our belief that The Times’s quality of journalism can be extended to television,” said Mr. Schmemann in his acceptance speech. He also paid special tribute to producer Scott Willis of New York Times Television for the Discovery Channel for helping him translate his writing skills to television.
In addition to his work for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune, Schmemann also currently participates in the work of the Orthodox Church in America as Chairperson for the Department of Communication, which manages the OCA website, “The Orthodox Church” newspaper, and general correspondences with the media.