The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards


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  • A Higher Standard
    A Higher Standard

    Exposure of political corruption has long been a hallmark of investigative journalism. The central role of television in such investigations is revealed by WSMV-TV, Nashville, in its 30-minute documentary A Higher Standard. Focusing on the relationship of Congressman Bill Boner and an influential local defense contractor, WSMV-TV presented viewers a forthright and captivating examination into the character, integrity, and moral standards of an elected official. For its journalistic diligence and clear expertise in the investigative craft, a Peabody... read more

  • An Early Frost
    An Early Frost

    An Early Frost deals with the problems of an American family trying to cope with the news that their son is dying of AIDS. The Peabody Board found this to be an exceptionally well-done personal drama which depicted an important social problem in such a way as to involve the viewer almost continuously. Most noteworthy was producers Perry Lafferty and Arthur Sidel’s choice to avoid gratuitous scenes which capitalize on public and press panic and to concentrate instead... read more

  • Apartheid’s People
    Apartheid’s People

    With the turmoil in South Africa capturing an ever-increasing share of headlines, the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour saw an opportunity for a deeper, more incisive look. Executive producer Lester Crystal, correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault and producer Frank Smith explain the daily life of a range of South Africans, exposing far more than could be examined from the daily news reports. Superb writing, in-depth reporting and gripping personal testimonies coalesce into a hard-hitting program. In providing background, texture, and nuance to a... read more

  • Armed and Dangerous
    Armed and Dangerous

    Chicago’s Channel 2 Investigative Team spent three months on a very important effort to show that many unqualified, unlicensed and potentially dangerous security guards were at work in the Chicago area, constituting a threat to the public. They sought to have the state of Illinois take action to remedy this problem. Subsequently a new law was passed which closed a loophole that permitted thousands of armed guards to work without licenses. The law also requires certain reviews by... read more

  • Braingames

    Although cartoons have traditionally been popular with children, they have too frequently been mindless and passive entertainment providing nothing in return for the time spent in viewing. Braingames, produced by Spinning Reels and distributed on cable by Home Box Office, is an outstanding series of animated television shows which both entertain and instruct. Historical information, mathematical concepts, and explorations of auditory and spatial relationships are integrated into an interactive exchange which holds children’s interest and demands their participation.... read more

  • Breakdown and Back
    Breakdown and Back

    Mental illness is an affliction that affects many and frightens most. Breakdown and Back takes the listener on a journey inside the world of mental illness, providing needed information and allowing the listener to experience something of the terror of a mental breakdown. This three-part radio series, independently produced by Marjorie VanHalteren, with Jay Allison and Lou Giansante, has been heard on more than 50 radio stations. The programs have provided an excellent tool for professionals in the... read more

  • Coverage of the Mexican Earthquake
    Coverage of the Mexican Earthquake

    KDTV-TV is a full-time, Spanish-language television station in San Francisco. In September 1985 the disastrous series of earthquakes struck Mexico City and within two hours KDTV-TV was involved in an ultimate test of commitment to the audience they serve. Within this short span of time they had live reports from Mexico City and they became the San Francisco area’s primary source of news of this event. They made their own direct coverage available to other television stations and,... read more

  • Do You Remember Love?
    Do You Remember Love?

    Recognition of exceptional quality has long been the credo of the Peabody Awards. This year, as members of the Peabody Board met to consider selections, they shared the viewing of a program which, in their opinion, met every test for Peabody recognition. Do You Remember Love tells the touching story of a college professor, still young in her fifties, who undergoes the agony of Alzheimer’s Disease. The impact of the disease—from its seemingly-innocuous early stages to the ravages... read more

  • Down and Outside: On the Streets in Louisville
    Down and Outside: On the Streets in Louisville

    Today, every major city has to face the problem of the homeless. Louisville, Kentucky is no exception. Two fine radio news reporters on the staff of WHAS Radio, Mike Edgerly and Ralph Dix, spent three months gathering material for their documentary. The original music for the documentary, incidentally, was composed by one of the residents of a mission for the homeless they met while on this assignment. When WHAS Radio broadcast the program they followed it with a... read more

  • Frontline: Crisis in Central America
    Frontline: Crisis in Central America

    This is a repeat appearance by FRONTLINE as a winner in the Peabody Awards competition. The exceptional four-part series, aired in the Spring of 1985, traces the historical roots of the crisis in Central America. An outstanding team, which included executive producers Austin Hoyt (series), David Fanning (FRONTLINE), and Neal Freeman (The Blackwell Corp.), senior producer Elizabeth Deane and program producers Judith Vecchione, Marilyn Mellowes, Martin Smith, and Huston Simmons used rare historical film footage to document the... read more

  • I-Team: Home Health Care
    I-Team: Home Health Care

    An aging population and a volatile economic situation have lead to a rise of coverage of the health care field by the media. WCCO-TV’s five-month investigation into health services in Minneapolis indicates that such investigation is particularly needed in these times to protect the public. In a four-part series, plus a half-hour special, WCCO-TV exposed numerous abuses in the home health care field. These included the hiring of convicted felons and drug addicts with no health care training... read more

  • Institutional Award: WGBH Radio for Overall Programming and Its Leadership in State-of-the-Art Broadcasting
    Institutional Award: WGBH Radio for Overall Programming and Its Leadership in State-of-the-Art Broadcasting

    WGBH Radio has an audience of nearly 350,000 listeners each week. This means that it is one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the United States. But the size of the audience was not what impressed members of the Peabody Board as they considered awards this year. The overall programming of WGBH Radio caught the Board’s attention. Live broadcasts highlight each day’s offering. Programs such as Morning Pro Musica, Music America, Eric in the Evening, and... read more

  • Liberation Remembered
    Liberation Remembered

    In Liberation Remembered, executive producer Barbara Howard has generated a radio program capable of reading deep into the emotions of listeners everywhere. Together with producer Eileen Bolinsky and writer Anne McGrath, Liberation Remembered is the work of an outstanding team which deserves enormous recognition for their achievement. Broadcast over WBUR-FM at Boston University, the program explores the liberation of the Nazi death camps through interviews with the American soldiers who first stumbled up on the attempts at genocide... read more

  • Live From Lincoln Center
    Live From Lincoln Center

    For ten years the American public has been able to see, by means of television, hundreds of live productions from the stages of Lincoln Center. Through these programs millions of viewers have been exposed to the finest of the performing arts, some for the first time, with most viewing performances they would never have been able to see in person. The Lincoln Center series has concentrated on American performers and performances, and, in so doing, has set an... read more

  • Personal Award: Bob Geldof and Live Aid
    Personal Award: Bob Geldof and Live Aid

    Last year, the Peabody Board recognized Central Independent Television of Great Britain for its role in revealing the tragedy of the Ethiopian famine to the world. In the months that followed, the western media was full of the imagery of poverty and despair, perhaps best expressed in the expressionless faces of starving children. Many thought the scope of the tragedy was beyond our means to respond, that there was little that “one person could do” to make a... read more

  • Personal Award: Johnny Carson
    Personal Award: Johnny Carson

    Johnny Carson is about to embark on his 25th year at the helm of the Tonight show. Unbelievable! A quarter of a century of humor from the man who, along with his predecessors, Steve Allen and Jack Paar, lifted late-night television from the “graveyard.” Who is indebted to this pioneer of the pun? Just about everybody. NBC, of course, plus millions of Americans. Many of these millions have been privileged to see him develop and perfect his unique... read more

  • Personal Award: Lawrence Fraiberg
    Personal Award: Lawrence Fraiberg

    “A lifetime of stewardship to great broadcasting.” This is the phrase used by a member of the Peabody Board in describing Larry Fraiberg. Here is a person who has shunned the limelight but has not shunned the responsibility of taking his chosen vocation seriously in an effort to serve the needs of the public in whatever role he found himself. Larry has, in a very real sense, been “the broadcaster’s broadcaster.” He has taken the mandate to serve... read more

  • Second Chance
    Second Chance

    Second Chance refers to both an hour-long documentary and a follow-up public service effort dealing with transplant surgery and human organ donations. Producer Jan Getz of KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh and her team produced a powerful program with profound impact on the viewer. Working in cooperation with Presbyterian-University Hospital of Pittsburgh and with other Group W stations, the team collected and integrated videotape from eight cities. The documentary formed the cornerstone of a national public service campaign carried on... read more

  • Seminars on Media and Society
    Seminars on Media and Society

    A Peabody Award is presented to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, New York, for their continuing effort in the production of the exceptional Media and Society Seminars. These fine programs grew out of a joint effort of the school, WQED, Pittsburgh, WNET/Thirteen, New York, The Bonneville Broadcast Group and PBS. They are produced under the direction of Betsy Miller and Cynthia McFadden and are directed by Hugh Downing. While the subject matter varies from production to... read more

  • Tender Places
    Tender Places

    Tender Places concerns divorce, called by one critic “the common cold of social problems.” But WBZ-TV in Boston considered the problems of divorce important enough to undertake the production of this award-winning play, originally written by 12-year-old Jason Brown and first staged for the New York theater. Written through the eyes of a child experiencing the divorce of his own parents, the television version proved to be a meaningful venture for WBZ-TV and an extraordinary viewing opportunity for... read more

  • The American West: Steinbeck Country
    The American West: Steinbeck Country

    Some television programs set the difficult goal of educating those who merely seek to be entertained. Most of these attempts fail. KGO-TV’s production of The American West: Steinbeck Country is an unqualified success on both counts. Skillful camera work, creative graphics and forceful acting and narration (particularly by Rip Torn) successfully interweave the scenic splendor of the Pacific Northwest with the poetic themes that permeated its people and its times. The result is a particularly ambitious undertaking for... read more

  • The Final Chapter?
    The Final Chapter?

    The threat of nuclear war is a subject readily available for documentary production, but one which rarely has been treated as incisively as in the international teleproduction of The Final Chapter?. The chilling prospect of nuclear destruction and the sobering possibility of an ensuing “nuclear winter” are vividly depicted in this excellent production. No small part of the credit is due to TVOntario, NHK, Japan, Sveriges Television, and Technisonor (France), who all contributed mightily to this massive three-year... read more

  • The Number Man—Bach at Three Hundred
    The Number Man—Bach at Three Hundred

    CBS News’ production of The Number Man—Bach at Three Hundred is a thirty-minute documentary narrated by eloquent Charles Osgood. The program explores the life, music and influence of Johann Sebastian Bach on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of his birth. Through the use of prose, poetry, and personal testimonies by leading musicians and artists, both the words and the music meld into a program of stunning appeal. It celebrates, it informs, and it entertains. Producer Norman Morris... read more

  • The Skin Horse
    The Skin Horse

    The Skin Horse is an outspoken consideration of a subject not often discussed or treated on television: the emotional and sexual lives of the disabled. Originally produced for British television in 1983 the program was broadcast in the U.S. by WETA-TV, Washington in October 1985. It received endorsements from virtually every major national organization dealing with disability. In this production the Peabody Board found that the subject became real to the viewer and that many misconceptions regarding disabilities... read more

  • The Times of Harvey Milk
    The Times of Harvey Milk

    The Times of Harvey Milk is the story of the extraordinary rise to power of Harvey Mil, an openly-gay camera store owner who became one of San Francisco’s most well-known political leaders, and his assassination at the hands of Dan White. It successfully captures the reaction of San Franciscans when they learned of the murder of Milk and Mayor George Moscone and carefully details the events of White’s subsequent trial. Using the testimonies of allies and adversaries, chronicles... read more

  • Vietnam Ten Years After
    Vietnam Ten Years After

    The tenth anniversary of the United States’ withdrawal from Vietnam was commemorated by many radio and television stations and networks. Of the numerous attempts to recount the meaning of American involvement in Southeast Asia and its subsequent impact, NBC News’ Vietnam Ten Years After stands out as the premier example of overall excellence. The talented president of NBC News, Larry Grossman, has demonstrated that a first-rate team can producer first-rate results. The NBC White Paper, Vietnam—Lessons of a... read more

  • Whose America Is It?
    Whose America Is It?

    CBS News has distinguished itself in the view of the Peabody Board with its one hour documentary examining the issues raised by the nation’s seeming inability to enforce its immigration laws. The program, Whose America Is It?, focused on the cultural, economic and political conflicts created by the arrival of this nation’s newest wave of immigrants, those of Hispanic heritage. The result was a timely and revealing report on an issue which is becoming more difficult to deal... read more