A record 39 recipients of the 70th Annual Peabody Awards were announced Thursday (3/31) by the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Local stations snagging the prestigious award included WNYC-FM New York; WGCU-FM Ft. Myers, FL; WFAA-TV Dallas; WTHR-TV Indianapolis; WILL-TV Champaign, IL; and KSTP-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.
The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for the year 2010, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia campus.
“For 70 years the Peabody Award has defined excellence in electronic media,” said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards. “This list of Peabody recipients continues the commitment of the University of Georgia and the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the stewards of the award. With that commitment, we challenge media makers and distributors to reach higher, try harder and be ever mindful of their central role in public life.”
The latest Peabody winners reflect diversity in content, genre and sources of origination, the awards committee noted. The recipients included The Pacific, an epic HBO miniseries about American soldiers and sailors fighting in the Pacific theater of World War II; Men of a Certain Age, TNT’s world-wise comedy-drama about three middle-aged pals; an Independent Lens documentary, Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian, that entertained even as it set the cinematic record straight; and The Moth Radio Hour, where the ancient art of storytelling is honored and expanded weekly.
An especially rich year for radio yielded seven Peabody winners in addition to The Moth. They included WNYC’s series Radiolab, part theater of the mind, part scientific expedition; Lucia’s Letter, a cautionary composite of several Guatemalan girls’ accounts of abuse at the hands of “coyotes” hired to sneak them into the U.S.; The Promised Land with Majora Carter, a forum for deep, eye-opening conversations about the environment and justice; and Trafficked, a Youth Radio investigation of child-sex-trafficking made more powerful by first-person accounts.
Three examples of National Public Radio’s journalism won Peabodys: Covering Pakistan: War, Flood and Social Issues, reports that made the country vivid beyond the headline disasters; Behind the Bail Bond System, an investigation that revealed inequities and conflicts of interest; and Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes, a study of sexual assaults at colleges and the shockingly light penalties that the perpetrators often receive.
The Peabodys, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. The Peabody Awards recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The 16-member Peabody Board is a distinguished panel of television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts. Selection is made by the board following review by special screening committees of UGA faculty, students and staff.
Complete list of recipients of the 70th annual Peabody Awards:
FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television
Part morality play, part character study, this engrossing modern-day Western drama sets its showdowns in the wild, wild east of Appalachian Kentucky.
Great Performances: Macbeth(PBS)
Thirteen for WNET.ORG, Illuminations Television Ltd.
Director Rupert Goold takes Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy on location to the countryside and the trenches to riveting effect.
Coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill (CNN)
The science, the economics, the politics, the toll on human livelihoods and animal lives – CNN’s coverage of the Deepwater Horizon disaster defined comprehensive.
Immersive and boundlessly imaginative, the series uses pithy prose and state-of-the-art sound to illuminate complicated scientific and philosophical subjects.
A Playtone and Dreamworks Production in association with HBO Miniseries
The Pacific theater of World War II proves to be gripping theater indeed in this richly detailed miniseries.
Sherlock: A Study in Pink(PBS)
A Hartswood Films Production for BBC CYMRU Wales, Co-produced with Masterpiece
The venerable Victorian sleuth is audaciously updated for today’shigh-tech times, and the game is afoot all the quicker.
WGCU Public Media
A literal cautionary tale, the harrowing “letter” is a composite of several young Guatemalan women’s enslavement by “coyotes” hired to smuggle them into the United States.
THIRTEEN’S America Masters, Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right, Dakota Group
A portrait of John Lennon’s life and work, after he chose to make New York his home, it’s beautifully composed and lovingly rendered but not blind to his imperfections.
Magic Hour Films in co-production with WG Film, Mediamente, Kamoli Films, The Danish Film Institute and DR TV in association with HBO Documentary Films
The documentary chronicles the heroic ingenuity of underground video journalists (VJs) who captured the 2007 Burmese human-rights protests—and the brutal government retaliation—on handy cams and smuggled the video out to the web and the world.
Men of a Certain Age(TNT)
A series about three longtime pals, “regular” guys, navigating middle age, it’s comical, poignant and harrowing, sometimes all at once.
The Dallas station’s investigation exposed abuses by government-funded “career” schools that provide poor training and sometimes leave desperate students deeper in debt than they started.
Trafficked: A Youth Radio Investigation(NPR/All Things Considered)
Youth Radio, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Huffington Post online
A wide-ranging exposéof America’s child-sex trade, it was made especially powerful by first-person accounts by teen victims.
Independent Lens: Reel Injun: On the Trail of the HollywoodIndian (PBS)
Rezolution Pictures, National Film Board of Canada, CBS News Network, ARTE Germany, Documentary Channel Canada, Radio Canada, ARTV, Knowledge Network, APTN, AVRO, Independent Television Service (ITVS)
A Cree filmmaker takes an affectionate but nonetheless pointed look at how movies have portrayed and misrepresented Native Americans over many decades.
The Promised Landwith Host Majora Carter (American Public Media Stations)
Launch Minneapolis, American Public Media
If there’s such a thing as eye-opening radio, Carter’s series, devoted to helping her audience envision a more just, sustainable world, is it.
Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals(HBO)
Not your average sports biography by a long jump shot, it examines the different cultures from whence these NBA legends sprang, their unusually long rivalry and their unlikely friendship.
Covering Pakistan: War, Flood and Social Issues(NPR)
Islamabad-based correspondent Julie McCarthy goes beyond the headline disasters, making the country vividly individual with reports on topics like child labor, blasphemy laws and the plight of war widows.
Wonders of the Solar System with Brian Cox(Science Channel)
Science Channel, BBC
In this amazing, simulated travelogue, the boyish physicist flies us to the moon and lets us play among the stars. And gawk.
Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes(NPR and npr.org)
With first-person interviews and computer-assisted records checks, an NPR investigative unit documented how perpetrators of sexual assaults on college campuses often face few or no consequences.
Degrassi: My Body Is a Cage(TeenNick)
True to its history, the durable high-school serial’s two-parter about a transgender teen neither trivializes nor overdramatizes its subject.
C-SPAN Video Library (cspan.org/videolibrary)
Every program C-SPAN has shown since 1987, from State of the Union addresses to budget hearings, is now available and searchable online—for free.
The worst atrocity in American military history is given new meaning and significance in the documentary enriched by fresh interviews and never-before-heard audio made by the original Pentagon investigators.
The Moth Radio Hour(Public Radio Stations)
The Moth, Public Radio Exchange, Atlantic Public Media
Storytelling, likely the oldest art, is revered and reinvigorated by this weekly hour for everyday raconteurs.
Mentorn in association with Antony Thomas Productions for HBO Documentary Films
A powerful portrait of Neda Agha-Soltan, martyr, and the larger Iranian struggle for freedom, this documentary was filmed on the sly and at great risk in Tehran.
Behind the Bail Bond System(NPR/All Things Considered and Morning)
Changes in the bail bond system are already underway as a result of this three-part exposéof inequities and conflicts that penalize its poorest clients.
12th and Delaware(HBO)
A Loki Films Production for HBO Documentary Films
A street corner in Ft. Pierce, Florida, where an abortion clinic and a pro-life center face each other, embodies the ongoing clash over reproductive rights in this thoughtful, fair documentary.
Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia(PBS)
Sikelia Productions, Far Hills Pictures in association with America Masters
Director Martin Scorsesereflects on the nature of art’s influence on artists and how the brilliant but controversial Kazan continues to inspire him.
If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise(HBO)
40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks for HBO Documentary Films
Spike Lee’s team checks up on New Orleans five years after Katrina hit and the levees broke and documents the city’s successes and failures in a video patchwork by turns beautiful, depressing and optimistic.
Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children(BBC Four)
Filming undercover with great ingenuity and courage, Xoliswa Sithole and Jezza Newman documented the horrible conditions, especially for the young, in Zimbabwe.
William Kentridge: Anything is Possible(PBS)
The multi-faceted Kentridge is creativity personified, a one-man seminar, and he gave filmmakers from ART21 a veritable all-access pass to his mind and work process.
30 for 30(ESPN)
Commissioned for the sports channel’s 30th anniversary, these 30 diverse documentaries about sports in America, well, they shoot, they score.
POV: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers(PBS)
American Documentary, POV, ITVS
A fascinating true-life political thriller, Ellsberg’s remembrance of his historic actions is made even more compelling by the inventive presentation.
Report on a New Generation of Migrant Workers in China (Phoenix InfoNews Channel)
Phoenix Satellite Television Co. Ltd.
The report by Hong Kong’s Phoenix Satellite Television poses hard questions about the ramifications of China’s continuing urban migration.
Reality Check: Where Are the Jobs?(WTHR-TV)
The Indianapolis station’s digging revealed the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s job-creation claims were grossly overstated and that companies given tax-incentive to create employment had actually axed workers by the hundreds.
A Ruby Films, Gerson Saines Production in association with HBO Films
Claire Danes is remarkable as the autistic animal-expert and author, and the biography is further enriched by visual creativity that lets viewer occasional glimpse the world as Grandin experiences it.
The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today(WILL-TV)
Jay Rosenstein Productions
A beautifully researched documentary by a Champaign, Illinois station, it examines a First Amendment case critical to the establishment of separation of church and state in public schools.
The Cost of War: Traumatic Brain Injury; Coming Home a Different Person(www.washingtonpost.com)
A fascinating, poignant multimedia report, it details the experiences of five different wounded soldiers and the science behind their medical treatment.
Who Killed Doc?(KSTP-TV)
KSTP, St. Paul
The St. Paul-Minneapolis station’s investigation of a Minnesota sailor’s ill-explained death in Iraq has the Armed Forces reexamining everything from shower safety to how families of the fallen are notified.
The Wounded Patrol(PBS)
FRONTLINE, Mongoose Pictures
The documentary is a dark, troubling tale of a military health system overwhelmed by psychiatric casualties and of one platoon’s post-traumatic nightmare.
The Good Wife(CBS)
Scott Free Productions, King Size Productions, Small Wishes, CBS Productions
In this densely layered dramatic series, the dutiful wife of a disgraced politician resumes her legal career and finds satisfaction, self-worth and moral quandaries of her own.