The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards


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  • . . .and the Pursuit of Happiness
    . . .and the Pursuit of Happiness

    The American story has been told countless times. It is the story of following a dream across an ocean or a continent and realizing the dream in the “land of opportunity.” But the story persists because it is such a rich and interesting one, this blending of the peoples of the earth into one society. So it is with Louis Malle’s excellent mosaic of the American landscape. He finds the humor as well as the pathos in the newest group of American immigrants and holds both up for viewers to see. The result is a fresh and perceptive telling of... read more

  • 3-2-1 Contact Extra: I Have AIDS, A Teenager’s Story
    3-2-1 Contact Extra: I Have AIDS, A Teenager’s Story

    Most programs about AIDS are aimed at adults. This show focuses on children and their need to understand AIDS, what can cause it and what cannot, and how they can understand those who have the disease. As more and more children contract AIDS, the need for them to know about the disease increases in importance. By using the celebrated case of Ryan White, a 16-year-old hemophiliac who was victimized by a contaminated transfusion, children learn from someone more their own age who knows how to speak to them. His talks with a fifth-grade class and his experiences in trying to... read more

  • 48 Hours: “Abortion Battle” and “On Runaway Street”
    48 Hours: “Abortion Battle” and “On Runaway Street”

    It is not difficult to tackle sensitive, complex and often divisive issues with the expectation that you will end up with balanced, informative, well-thought-out results. What is difficult is to succeed. In the opinion of members of the Peabody Board the CBS News program 48 Hours did succeed in two exceptional reports: Abortion Battle and On Runaway Street. In Abortion Battle viewers were presented with an exploration of several aspects of this controversial issue that provided a dimension often missing from conventional news coverage. In On Runaway Street the team achieved a notable public service contribution by highlighting the dangerous... read more

  • 60 Minutes: Mr. Snow Goes to Washington
    60 Minutes: Mr. Snow Goes to Washington

    60 Minutes: Mr. Snow Goes To Washington is an exceptional example of what can be achieved when a dedicated person who will not take “no” for an answer is joined by a national news team fully capable of highlighting and reporting the most important facets of a campaign for increased child safety. This 60 Minutes report achieved two significant ends: it created a heightened sense of public awareness about the dangers of metallic darts (particularly to children) and it resulted in national legislation which, it is hoped, has removed the source of the hazard from store shelves throughout the country.... read more

  • A Matter of Time: The Crisis in Kentucky Corrections
    A Matter of Time: The Crisis in Kentucky Corrections

    This is the third Peabody the WHAS Radio news department has won in the last four years. That, in itself, is a significant achievement. But what is even more significant, in the eyes of the Peabody Board, is the list of accomplishments which this exceptional news department has achieved in its community. In this particular instance the WHAS nine-member news team produced a superb documentary and followed up with a two-and-a-half hour call-in program that drew hundreds of comments. In the opinion of the members of the Peabody Board this station has shown meritorious performance, far beyond what might normally... read more

  • Bill Moyers’  World of Ideas
    Bill Moyers’  World of Ideas

    Television is such a visual medium that sometimes the sound becomes part of the background for the dominant visual images. This is a shame because it has fostered television so oriented to gaining viewers’ visual attention that thoughtful discussion generally is ignored because it is “boring.” But as Bill Moyers proves in his World of Ideas, nothing could be more interesting than thoughtful discussion with outstanding thinkers and visionaries of our time. This series of programs is made for the ear and the mind, not just the eyes. Guests ranging from an internationally known filmmaker to a noted environmentalist to... read more

  • Caution: Precious Cargo
    Caution: Precious Cargo

    Millions of American school children ride on school buses every day. Their parents want those buses to be safe and they rely on laws to ensure their children’s safety. But the laws do not always work. In this account of school buses operating in Miami, WPLG-TV’s Linda Pattillo and Jeff King found that many were operating illegally Moreover, the station found that the laws themselves were filled with loopholes that allowed private school bus companies to operate unsafe vehicles and employ unsafe drivers. The dramatic presentation of situations captured by the cameras rallied both parent and legislative attention. Parents, provoked... read more

  • Children’s Express Newsmagazine: Campaign ‘88
    Children’s Express Newsmagazine: Campaign ‘88

    The 1988 presidential campaign was as much a campaign about the media as one waged in the media. Politicians, critics, and the public heaped criticism on the media for boiling down major speeches to 10second “sound bites” on the news. The candidates claimed they could not get their messages across to the people on one hand and that the “sound bite” practice forced them to build their talks around memorable phrases rather than ideas. Into this situation stepped an intrepid band of children with the intent of covering the campaign. Reporters and editors, all 13 years old or younger, researched... read more

  • Cowboys on Everest
    Cowboys on Everest

    One of radio’s best characteristics is its ability to create a sense of immediacy and urgency. Sadly today that feature is too often overlooked. But that is not the case with this Peabody winner. Cowboys on Everest captures the excitement, exhilaration and frustration of an American team’s struggle to conquer Mt. Everest. Fifteen separate stories comprise this winner, some fed back to Washington via a portable satellite uplink from the base camp of the expedition and many produced under arduous conditions of high altitude and bitter cold. At the heart of the tale are the people: from the team of... read more

  • Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam
    Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam

    To many Americans, the Vietnam war remains an open wound. Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam conveys the American experience in Vietnam from the perspective of those who were there. By interweaving authentic letters from our men and women in Southeast Asia with chronological footage of events in “‘Nam” and “the world,” the program evokes memories of the Vietnam period with stunning clarity and emotional impact. Produced by Bill Couturie and Thomas Bird and directed by Bill Couturie, the work features readings by some of America’s premiere artists and performers, including Robert DeNiro, Michael J. Fox, Kathleen Turner and Robin... read more

  • Frontline: The Choice
    Frontline: The Choice

    The 1988 Peabody entries provided an extraordinary challenge to the Board as it selected the winners. There were many, many fine programs that brought viewers information of value and importance. None, however, seemed to succeed as well as FRONTLINE in covering the major candidates during the Presidential campaign. In a documentary special titled The Choice; the Frontline team, headed by the able David Fanning as executive producer, along with Sherry Jones, producer, and Garry Wills, author/writer, put together more than 150 background and 40 on-camera interviews with the candidates and with others. This was broadcast journalism at its finest and... read more

  • Hate Crimes: America’s Cancer
    Hate Crimes: America’s Cancer

    In today’s radio world it is easy for station management to avoid dealing with the really thorny problems that have come to beset most communities. In this instance KMOX Radio, under the able management of Robert Hyland, chose to use the exceptional news team managed by John Angelides to explore whether minority families are still experiencing harassment (and sometimes violence). As a result of this inquiry the KMOX news department produced a documentary report that highlighted the gains made in race relations in St. Louis but also reported the continuing failures. Ultimately the issue became one of considerable importance for... read more

  • Impeachment of Evan Mecham
    Impeachment of Evan Mecham

    In 1988 a most unusual political event occurred-a sitting governor was impeached in Arizona. While all of the state’s radio and television stations reported the main events of the story, one station covered the entire story. KTAR Radio performed an extraordinary public service by devoting significant resources to coverage of Governor Mecham’s removal from office. Through news programs, call-in shows, and, finally, gavel-to-gavel coverage of the impeachment trial, the station framed events for listeners so they could understand what was happening. Arizona citizens received a lesson in democracy-in-action courtesy of producers Bob Christopher, Dennis Lambert and Diane Bonilla and the... read more

  • Institutional Award: WJLA-TV for The Radon Watch Campaign
    Institutional Award: WJLA-TV for The Radon Watch Campaign

    WJLA-TV’s radon awareness campaign was a massive undertaking that included public service and promotional announcements, news stories, and programs. In addition, the station made radon testers available to the public at cost and distributed more than 50 thousand brochures that provided information about radon. The station identified a problem in the community, researched it thoroughly, reported what it discovered to its viewers, and helped them learn if they were affected. While the focus of this campaign was local, the problem is nationwide. The campaign provides a template for other station to use in their own areas and many have begun... read more

  • Islam in Turmoil
    Islam in Turmoil

    Many of today’s headlines emanate from a small but highly charged region: the area surrounding the Persian Gulf. The people of the region are normally painted with one brush, often tainted by misunderstanding or stereotyping. Missing has been a discussion of the roots of Islamic fundamentalism and the schisms and rivalries that mark its current rise to prominence. That is what is provided by Islam in Turmoil. Through a series of four extended broadcasts, plus a one-hour documentary, The Christian Science Monitor Reports examined the many facets of the Islamic movement. The reports involved nine months of research by a... read more

  • MCA and the Mob
    MCA and the Mob

    Above all, Los Angeles is known as a company town. The company, of course, is the entertainment industry: the glittery world of movies, music and video. In the view of the Peabody Board it was especially courageous for KCBS-TV to develop and present this series, reporting on relationships between one of the major entertainment conglomerates and powerful figures in organized crime. In a series of reports broadcast from May to December 1988, producer, writer and reporter Chris Blatchford with the editorial direction of managing editor Michal Singer uncovered and followed a trail leading from a number of underworld figures to... read more

  • Nothing Political/Mandela at 70
    Nothing Political/Mandela at 70

    In July 1988, on the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday (his 26th behind bars), the BBC broadcast a touching tribute to be heard among his countrymen throughout South Africa. Using Mandela’s own letters from prison and family recollections of visits, this program vividly captured the impact of his incarceration on the struggle for human rights in South Africa. Credit goes to executive producer Neville Harms, producer and writer Ruth Evans and readers Rudolf Walker, Peggy Phango and Pamela Nomvete for painting a stirring audio portrait of both the personal tragedy and the triumphs of Nelson Mandela. Recognizing courageous and... read more

  • Personal Award: Ambassador Walter Annenberg
    Personal Award: Ambassador Walter Annenberg

    This personal Peabody recognition goes to Ambassador Walter Annenberg in his 80th year for his long and distinguished career, much of which has been devoted to improvement of the use of radio and television in the field of education. It was his idea to create the first televised educational programs on commercial television in the 1940s, especially in a program series called The University of the Air. Later, his perceptive vision and imagination created the joint Corporation for Public Broadcasting/ Annenberg Project, which brought the American viewer such prize winning programs as The Brain, The Constitution: That Delicate Balance, Planet... read more

  • Personal Award: Don Hewitt
    Personal Award: Don Hewitt

    Every so often, a person comes along whose accomplishments touch the lives of just about every American. Typically, this person is one whose face and name are instantly recognizable to the public. While it is true that CBS News executive producer Don Hewitt’s accomplishments have impacted on the lives of people the world over, the nature of his profession has kept him largely out of the limelight. The production and direction of nearly every major news event that has been broadcast on CBS News during the past 40 years has been influenced by Don Hewitt. He is perhaps best known... read more

  • Personal Award: Jim McKay
    Personal Award: Jim McKay

    Few institutions have shared the bounty of the television revolution more than the world of sports. In many ways televised sports today represents the epitome of the technological and cultural contributions of the visual medium. In less than forty years we have moved from indistinct incandescent images to the stirring tableaux that is the Olympic Games, the Indianapolis 500 or the Kentucky Derby, and we owe much of this to one man, Jim McKay. Mr. McKay first brought the Wide World of Sports to us in 1961. He has been America’s eyes on eleven Olympic Games, including a stunning turn... read more

  • Speaking for Everyman: Ian McKellen Celebrates Shakespeare’s Birthday
    Speaking for Everyman: Ian McKellen Celebrates Shakespeare’s Birthday

    While revered by critics and professors of English, Shakespeare today is often overlooked by readers because he is perceived to be difficult to understand and out-of-step with current events. This is a shame because he has much to say to people of any age. In this birthday celebration program, Ian McKellen looks into various aspects of Shakespeare’s career and gives life and power to the program, providing a birthday celebration that makes Shakespeare seem alive and vibrant. The result of the work of McKellen and producer Mark Ward is a cornucopia of performance segments, music, tales about the great writer... read more

  • Suzi’s Story
    Suzi’s Story

    In some eight years of the AIDS crisis, the Peabody Board has reviewed many fine programs dealing with the disease. Some have won an award, but few have captured the human toll of the crisis and the cry for dignity created in this superb production. Suzi’s Story, produced by HBO in association with Pro Image Productions for Network Ten (Australia), is a personal story of one young couple’s determination to face AIDS with courage, altruism, hope and love. Not a member of a so-called “high-risk group,” Suzi Lovegrove contracted AIDS two years after a brief affair with a man she... read more

  • The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank
    The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank

    This inspiring television production brings viewers another side of the story of Anne Frank and her family members, and their attempt to hide during the Nazi occupation of Holland. It highlights the contributions of Miep Gies, who risked her life almost daily to provide food, information and hope for more than two years to the Frank family It is indeed a story of courage and love and a story that clearly shows that even a single individual can make a difference. For exceptional writing, exceptional interpretation and exceptional production, a Peabody to the General Foods Golden Showcase production The Attic:... read more

  • The Best Insurance Commissioner Money Can Buy
    The Best Insurance Commissioner Money Can Buy

    Every once in a while an example of investigative journalism in its purest, most absolute form comes to the fore. This is the type of reporting that uncovers damaging facts, makes them publicly available and leads to decisive action. Such is precisely the case with WBRZ-TV’s series, The Best Insurance Commissioner Money Can Buy. In early 1988 WBRZ began an investigation of alleged improprieties on the part of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Louisiana. The team, led by executive producer John M. Spain, director Mike Haley and producer-reporter John Camp, uncovered evidence involving the newly-elected official’s relationships with... read more

  • The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour Election ‘88 Coverage
    The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour Election ‘88 Coverage

    Critics of the 1988 presidential campaign point to an unprecedented shallowness in much of the media coverage. Often missing from the reporting was a cogent analysis of the issues of the campaign, of the abilities of the candidates to lead, and of the role of the United States in the uncertain economic and political climate of post-industrialization. What the public saw mostly were “photo opportunities.” What the public heard were “sound bites.” One notable exception to this trend was the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, produced in association with WNET/ 13, New York, and WETA, Washington. Its coverage of the campaign was extensive... read more

  • The Making of a Legend: Gone With the Wind
    The Making of a Legend: Gone With the Wind

    Margaret Mitchell herself would have been fascinated, to say the least. Here is the real “inside” story of many things that went on before Gone With The Wind emerged as one of America’s all-time great motion pictures. Rare film footage has been woven into a fascinating insight of how Hollywood did it back in the 1930s. This is David Selznick’s story. It shows how the famed independent producer set out to “beat” the major studios at their own game. We get the behind-the-scenes story of how Atlanta was burned, the many premieres that gave GWTW such a grand send-off and... read more

  • The Murder of Mary Phagan
    The Murder of Mary Phagan

    The brutal murder of a young woman in Atlanta in 1913 set off a series of tragic events that reverberate to the present day. The accused murderer of Mary Phagan, Leo Frank, became the focus of public hatred because he was wealthy, educated, and Jewish, all characteristics that alienated him from the mob of citizens who demanded vengeance. Vigilante rule took Frank’s fate out of the hands of elected officials and placed it in the hands of a lynch mob. The evidence in the case, however, strongly suggests that he was innocent. The Murder of Mary Phagan allows a look... read more

  • The Singing Detective
    The Singing Detective

    Once in a great while a television movie breaks the mold, moving into new territory of image and imagination. Such is the case with The Singing Detective. Produced by the BBC and presented in the United States as part of WNET/13’s Channel Crossings series, The Singing Detective is seven and one-half hours of visual and evisceral experience. Writer and director Dennis Potter tells an offbeat but involving story about a writer of pulp fiction who falls victim to his own physical and emotional malaise. In a stunning tour-de-force, the film moves from the reality of the character’s virtual imprisonment in... read more

  • thirtysomething

    Two or three times each decade, series television transcends formula and routine and enters the realm of real dramatic art. Previous Peabody Award winners that fit this description include L.A. Law, St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues. This year, the Peabody Board is pleased to add to the list the engaging and thought-provoking thirty something. Blessed with an outstanding ensemble cast, including Ken Olin, Polly Draper, Patricia Wettig, Mel Harris, Timothy Busfield, Peter Horton and Melanie Mayron, executive producers Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick have created a series in which excellence seems almost routine. thirtysomething reveals the joy and anxiety... read more