The George Foster Peabody Awards’ 70th annual search for excellence in electronic media has begun. The awards program administered by the University of Georgia says more than 100,000 call for entries alerts have been mailed worldwide.
Original broadcast, cablecast and webcast programs presented in the calendar year 2010 are eligible for the prestigious honor. The entry deadline is Friday, January 14, 2011. Entrants may apply online at www.peabody.uga.edu.
The Peabody Awards, established in 1940 and administered by the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, are the oldest honor in television and radio. Today the Peabody recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by television and radio stations, networks, producing organizations, individuals and the World Wide Web.
The 69th Annual Peabody Awards were emceed by Diane Sawyer, anchor of ABC’s World News, at New York’s Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Award recipients ranged from Frontline’s investigative recap of The Madoff Affair to ABC’s shrewd and warm-hearted comedy, Modern Family. Also winning Peabodys were Between the Folds, an Independent Lens documentary about the art of origami, and A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains, an ABC News report on Third World conditions in Appalachia.
Peabody Awards went to a number of local television news efforts including Under Fire: Discrimination and Corruption in the Texas National Guard, an investigative series by Houston’s KHOU-TV, and Chronicle: Paul’s Gift, a public-service documentary by WYFF-TV in Greenville, S.C., that personalized the benefits of organ donation.
International winners included Sichuan Earthquake: One Year On, an enterprising follow-up report about the devastation in China by Hong Kong’s Now-TV News; The Day That Lehman Died, a radio docudrama about the financial giant’s collapse from BBC World Service; and I-Witness: Ambulansiyang De Paa (Ambulance on Foot), a report on health care in a remote Philippine region by the GMA Network, Inc.
The Peabody Award, considered the most selective and prestigious honor for electronic media programming, is unique in that there are no categories for entry or nominations. Entries are judged by a 16-member board, which includes television critics, industry practitioners, scholars and experts in culture and fine arts.