The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards


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  • 24 Hour Blizzard Coverage
    24 Hour Blizzard Coverage

    On February 4, 1984, the worst blizzard in four decades hit the Red River Valley. Those thousands themselves trapped by the snow or who had loved ones caught in its midst were able to find a port in the storm through the extraordinary emergency coverage provided by KFGO Radio in Fargo, North Dakota. KFGO personnel were on the air for 24 hours providing listeners with storm updates, survival tips and travel information. For seventeen hours the station opened... read more

  • A Call For Help
    A Call For Help

    A successful investigative report often leads to changes for the better in a station’s community. KDFW-TV’s series A Call For Help certainly seems to have achieved this. Focusing on the emergency medical sercie division of the Dallas Fire Department, the series demonstrated shortcomings in the handling of some emergency calls. The report was spurred by the tragic story of the death of a Dallas woman when an EMS dispatcher delayed ambulance aid despite pleas for help. KDFW-TV investigative... read more

  • A Walk Through the 20th Century With Bill Moyers
    A Walk Through the 20th Century With Bill Moyers

    It is true that learning can be fun, especially if your teacher is someone who looks and acts and sounds and interprets like Bill Moyers. It is even more fun if that person is Bill Moyers himself. This was the thinking of the Peabody Board in selecting A Walk Through the 20th Century With Bill Moyers for an award. These programs contribute immeasurably to the better understanding of the American people about their heritage and they provide enduring... read more

  • Bradbury 13
    Bradbury 13

    Bradbury 13 is a collection of radio dramatizations based on the imaginative science fiction stories by renowned author Ray Bradbury. This series, produced by the Media Services Division of Brigham Young University in cooperation with National Public Radio’s Satellite Development Fund, is a faithful and exciting adaptation of Bradbury’s tales which takes full advantage of radio’s ability to create sound pictures. Credible and often clever dialogue is interwoven with exciting stereophonic sound and music effects to produce a... read more

  • Cousteau/Amazon

    The Amazon River Basin has always been an area of little travel and much mystery. Thanks to the efforts of Turner Broadcasting System and Captain Jacques Cousteau we know more about this 4,000 mile stretch of water than ever before. Captain Cousteau, his son, and a team of scientists spent 18 months exploring the Amazon, and from their expedition came a three-part series of impressive proportions. The breath-taking photography, Cousteau’s narration, and consistent emphasis on the people whose... read more

  • D-Day: 40 Years Later
    D-Day: 40 Years Later

    Seldom does a radio station devote the time and energy which WAFX did to retelling and tracing the impact of an historic event. The staff worked together to recognize the 40th anniversary of D-Day on the Normandy beaches by producing a powerful six-hour program that recreated events surrounding that important day in history. This outstanding program combined interviews with survivors of the invasion with actualities culled from extensive research to provide an emotion-packed program about the largest and... read more

  • Essays by Roger Rosenblatt
    Essays by Roger Rosenblatt

    Significant contributions to American television by The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour have previously been honored by the Peabody Board. One program element is now being singled out for such recognition. The essays by Roger Rosenblatt are characterized by depth, by accuracy, by interest, by writing at the highest levels of the art, and, especially by the superb mating of Mr. Rosenblatt’s prose with the visual, moving images sought out by producer Michael Saltz and his staff. Just as his writing... read more

  • Faerie Tale Theatre
    Faerie Tale Theatre

    Television’s detractors argue that the medium stifles the imagination, that its reliance on fads, formulas, and formats leaves little room for whimsical flights of fancy. Happily, in Faerie Tale Theatre, Showtime provides an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy timeless stories of excitement, intrigue, and adventure, presented in a delightfully entertaining manner. A showcase for some of our finest actors, from Vanessa Redgrave to Vincent Price, the series recaptures the classics for a new generation. Executive Producer... read more


    During its deliberations the Peabody Board viewed a number of documentaries submitted by the Frontline management team, seeking one which would, by its very excellence, qualify it for the Peabody medallion and certificate. When the viewing had been concluded not one of the programs submitted stood out. All of the programs submitted stood out. It was then that the Board made the decision to recognize Frontline for its total contribution to the world of exceptional television. The choice... read more

  • George Washington
    George Washington

    Popular folklore would have us remember the first president of this country primarily for cherry trees and wooden teeth. This compelling production of George Washington by The David Gerber Company and CBS Entertainment reminds us that there was much more to this complex man and his times. The eight-hour mini-series chronicles the little-known early life of George Washington from the death of his father to the end of the Revolutionary War. Impressive scope in costuming and scenic design,... read more

  • Heartsounds

    What happens when a doctor himself becomes a patient? When a loving husband has two heart attacks and comes very close to death, what happens to his relationship with his wife? In Heartsounds, ABC Theater examined these issues with power and compassion. James Garner and Mary Tyler Moore portray Harold and Martha Lear whose lives were disrupted and permanently altered by the nearness of death. Both Moore and Garner turn in captivating performances and take full advantage of... read more

  • Heritage: Civilization and the Jews
    Heritage: Civilization and the Jews

    There are good television documentaries and there are exceptional television documentaries. Heritage: Civilization and the Jews is, in the opinion of the Peabody Board, an exceptional series of nine one-hour documentaries. In this excellent group of programs more than 3000 years of Jewish history, culture and thought is brought together, not just as history but as history in interaction with all of Western civilization. The Board recognized the fine contributions of Arnold Labaton and Marc Siegel, executive producers;... read more

  • Institutional Award: WFMT Radio and Raymond Nordstrand for Fine Arts Radio Programming
    Institutional Award: WFMT Radio and Raymond Nordstrand for Fine Arts Radio Programming

    If Ray Nordstrand has had a guiding principle for managing WFMT, Chicago’s—and now the nation’s and the world’s—fine music station, it would probably be “respect for the listener.” Under his skilled guidance the station has grown from a small fine arts station into a major superstation broadcasting classical music, folk music, poetry, drama, humor and lively discussion. From newly constructed, state-of-the-art studios WFMT broadcasts weekly concerts which are eagerly awaited by listeners in the United States, in Canada,... read more

  • Investigation of Dr. Milan Vuitch
    Investigation of Dr. Milan Vuitch

    This was not a pretty story, yet it was one that needed to be told. Clinic director Dr. Milan Vuitch had been performing abortions in Washington without a license since 1982 despite numerous violations and a number of malpractice complaints. Reporter Mark Feldstein and WDVM-TV’s investigative unit examined the situation and documented evidence of the questionable medical and ethical practices of the clinic. Following the reports, the clinic was closed. For accurate, aggressive reporting and for handling sensitive... read more

  • Patterns of Practice
    Patterns of Practice

    Nationwide there has been concern about the rising costs of hospital care. WCAX-TV in Burlington, Vermont undertook an investigation into substantial variations among the state’s 16 hospitals in the number of routine surgical operations and the length of hospital stays of the patients. When their data was analyzed the station discovered that some hospitals were operating much more efficiently than others. Growing out of this discovery was a 25-part series broadcast on weeknights during early 1984. Subsequently the... read more

  • Personal Award: Roone Arledge
    Personal Award: Roone Arledge

    Contributions to the broadcasting industry take many forms and each person who makes contributions may do so in many different ways. As the Peabody Board considered recognition for contributions to the industry there was no shortage of qualified candidates. This has been a year in which many have made substantial contributions. The name of Roone Arledge, President of ABC News and Sports came into the discussion again and again. There was mention of the role he played in... read more

  • Personal Award: Ted Koppel for “Nightline”
    Personal Award: Ted Koppel for “Nightline”

    Much television news is a pastiche of short elements fit into a half-hour format. ABC News Nightline, anchored by Ted Koppel, is not a typical news program. Nightline takes the top news story of the day and provides the viewer with an in-depth, comprehensive look at the one event and the issues and personalities behind it. Nightline utilizes state-of-the-art technology to unite newsmakers from around the world, providing a unique opportunity for confrontation, debate, and analysis. Ted Koppel’s... read more

  • Political Parasites
    Political Parasites

    With extraordinary zeal and completeness, WMAQ-TV reporter Dick Kay and his associates set out to investigate reports of financial waste and corruption in the Illinois State Legislature. The result was Political Parasites, a series of reports on “dead-wood” committees and meaningless commissions that were costing the taxpayers of Illinois millions of dollars. Through effective interviews backed by documented evidence, WMAQ-TV was able to provide extensive proof of duplication, waste, and nepotism in these committees. The result was the... read more

  • Rajneesh Update
    Rajneesh Update

    Three years ago an East-Indian religious sect known as the Rajneeshees moved into Central Oregon and set up a new community, arousing suspicion, fear, and ill feelings among many people in the area. Rajneesh Update, is a comprehensive chronicle of this tumultuous period. Included are particularly insightful reports on the origins and principles of the sect, absorbing profiles of its charismatic leaders and worshippers, and stirring documentation of its role in local politics. The program is distinguished by... read more

  • Seeds of Despair
    Seeds of Despair

    One of the major international news stories of the decade is the continuing famine in Africa. Facing overwhelming logistical problems and censorship by unfriendly governments, Western news media have been credited with bringing this story to light and with creating an outpouring of help and hope. Charles Stewart’s documentary Seeds of Despair, broadcast by Great Britain’s Central Independent Television in July 1984, is a vivid record of the scope of the famine which helped mobilize relief efforts to... read more

  • Small Things Considered
    Small Things Considered

    In recent years, radio programmers have tended to overlook a very important part of the listening audience: children. WNYC Radio is a notable exception. Small Things Considered is a live three-hour daily radio program designed especially for children ages 6 to 12. The program successfully combines contemporary, classical and children’s music with bright, informative and creative educational segments. There is also telephone dialogue between the hosts, Kathy O’Connell and Larry J. Orfaly, and children who live in the... read more

  • Somerville High
    Somerville High

    There probably has never been a time when education was not a problem in some communities throughout the world. Moreover, there probably isn’t a radio or television station that has not, at some time, looked into these problems. WCVB-TV took a look into the realities of atypical, contemporary urban high school. Somerville High suffered from many of the same problems that have plagued schools all over this country: problems with discipline, motivation and faculty morale. Growing out of... read more

  • St. Elsewhere
    St. Elsewhere

    From Young Dr. Kildare to Marcus Welby, from Janet Dean, R.N. to Trapper John, M.D., medical programs have been a staple of American popular entertainment. Unfortunately, most portrayals treat doctors as heroic archetypes, and their tools and procedures as the ultimate triumph of technology over human frailty. St. Elsewhere is a glorious exception to this trend. Each week, this outstanding series examines the complexities of life in a Boston hospital—from personal pressures to professional rivalries, from the chaos... read more

  • The Brain
    The Brain

    The eight one-hour documentaries which make up The Brain represent most of the things which go to make television useful and meaningful in our society. There one finds excellence in research, exceptional writing, meaningful development of the topic, and the highest quality in production. Even though all of us are fascinated by the workings of the human brain very few of us have much understanding of its many mysteries. Learning through this documentary series gives one a better... read more

  • The Hollow Victory: Vietnam Under Communism
    The Hollow Victory: Vietnam Under Communism

    Recent years have seen a plethora of documentaries concerning Vietnam. Few have examined the country as it now exists—a country struggling with a bitter legacy of war, unaccustomed to self-sufficiency, living under an insecure, incipient regime. After a year and a half of negotiations, WCCO-TV obtained permission to visit Vietnam on a 35-day visa. The documentary crew returned with an in-depth look at a still impoverished, isolated, and divided country. This production is truly exemplary for a local... read more

  • The Immigration Problem
    The Immigration Problem

    A vast wave of immigrants, mostly from Mexico, move illegally into southern California each year in search of jobs. In the process some are victimized by “border bandits” and others are often exploited by employers. These illegal aliens impact on the political, social and cultural life of the region. Coinciding with the development of new federal legislation, KNX Newsradio committed hundreds of hours of air time to coverage of the immigration problem. This included a number of documentary... read more

  • The Jewel in the Crown
    The Jewel in the Crown

    The history of the British Empire in India has been the focus of countless histories, documentaries, and most recently, theatrical motion pictures and teleplays. In the view of the Peabody Board, none has matched the intensity, scope, and detail of Granada Television’s The Jewel in the Crown, whose presentation on public television was made possible by Mobil. A faithful and exceedingly rich adaptation of Paul Scott’s novels, The Raj Quartet, this production is perhaps the pinnacle of dramatic... read more

  • The Protestant Hour
    The Protestant Hour

    This is the 40th anniversary year of The Protestant Hour, produced in Atlanta by the Protestant Radio and Television Center and supported financially by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., the United Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church in America, and the Episcopal Church. During these years The Protestant Hour has never asked for donations of support or made a fund appeal over the air. More than 2000 messages by leaders of the four denominations have been presented on... read more

  • To Save Our Schools, To Save Our Children
    To Save Our Schools, To Save Our Children

    The quality of education provided our children is an issue that strikes at the heart of the American democratic system. Concern for the health and future of universal, free public education has never been greater. To Save Our Schools, To Save Our Children is an unusually incisive and in-depth examination into this issue. In three hours of prime viewing time, executive producer Pamela Hill, senior producer Richard Richter, host and co-author Marshall Frady and the rest of the... read more