The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards

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  • 12th & Delaware
    2010
    12th & Delaware

    In 1999, an anti-abortion organization in Fort Pierce, Florida, bought a house across the street from A Woman’s World, an abortion clinic, and established the Pregnancy Care Center. The center provides health services and alternate counseling — some women understandably mistake it for the clinic — while serving as a de facto home base for protestors who patrol the clinic’s sidewalks day and night. 12th & Delaware, named for the intersection, covers a two-year span during which filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady had stunningly intimate access to both camps. They show us pregnant women, from young teens to middle-aged,... read more

  • 30 For 30
    2010
    30 For 30

    ESPN commissioned 30 filmmakers, from Hollywood heavy hitters to game rookies, to make documentary films to commemorate its 30th anniversary. 30 for 30 tells stories that are as varied as they are compelling, but it’s in their exploration of sport’s deeper connections to society, culture and the human experience that the series makes its mark. In “Once Brothers,” themes of friendship, war and reconciliation coalesce around two star NBA players whose close bond severs as their native Croatia and Serbia battle back home. We witness how greed, pride and the expectations of 1980s Dallas sports culture bring SMU football from... read more

  • American Experience: My Lai
    2010
    American Experience: My Lai

    Some events stand forever as markers in both the histories and the memories of nations. Such an event is the 1968 massacre of civilians in the village of My Lai, Vietnam, a slaughter carried out by United States soldiers. With such events it is sometimes assumed that we know everything we need to know, have seen what it is necessary to see, have heard all those who might speak. This documentary proves such assumptions wrong. Here we have more details, more film, more voices than have been previously collected in one presentation. We see and hear, for the first time... read more

  • American Masters: Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia
    2010
    American Masters: Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia

    Martin Scorsese’s Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia is a scholarly monograph, a meditation on the inspirational power of art and quite possibly the greatest fan letter of all time. One of the primary reasons we go to the movies is to see ourselves, both as we are and as we would like ourselves to be, and Scorsese, acclaimed director of Raging Bull, Taxi Driver and more, was first a moviegoer. Kazan’s On the Waterfront and East of Eden—in which the teenaged Scorsese saw himself, his family, his working-class neighbors, his own inner struggles—made indelible, life-altering impressions. In A Letter... read more

  • American Masters: LENNONYC
    2010
    American Masters: LENNONYC

    A former Beatle born and raised in England might seem unqualified for an American Masters profile, but LENNONYC justifies the choice. Michael Epstein’s documentary quickly establishes John Lennon as an eager, if unconventional, immigrant who in 1971 chose to take up residence in New York City, America’s quintessential port of entry, for classic reasons: He was yearning to be free; free of a British press hounding and insulting him and his artist wife, Yoko Ono, in the wake of his group’s break-up; free to re-invent himself. It wasn’t easy. LENNONYC doesn’t shy away from the demons Lennon had to exorcise,... read more

  • Art21: William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible
    2010
    Art21: William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible

    Artist William Kentridge never met a medium he didn’t like. To Kentridge, all the world’s a component, an option. He’s a painter, a sculptor, a performance artist, a puppeteer, a production designer. He works in charcoal, collage, tapestry. His influences range from Picasso sculpture to African carvings to Bolshevik poster art. He freely and fearlessly combines ancient, simple art forms with the latest high-tech gadgetry. Anything Is Possible, an Art21 film directed by Susan Sollins and Charles Atlas with Kentridge’s active participation, is a dazzling tour of some of his past projects, annotated with his explanatory commentary, and of him... read more

  • Behind the Bail Bond System
    2010
    Behind the Bail Bond System

    For an inability to make bail amounts as small as $50, Americans charged with non-violent, often petty crimes sit in jail for weeks, even months. But the revelation of National Public Radio’s three-part investigation is not just that indigent people can be hapless pawns of our bail bond system, it’s that taxpayers foot the bill, spending a national average of $60 a day to incarcerate, clothe and feed a half million detainees who haven’t even had a trial yet. It adds up to a staggering $9 billion annual tab. Correspondent Laura Sullivan also explores “pretrial release” programs, a vastly cheaper... read more

  • Bitter Lessons
    2010
    Bitter Lessons

    In the best tradition of local television news, WFAA-TV in Dallas identified a local instance of a national issue, probed the examples in the immediate community, and then took its findings back up a bureaucratic chain to challenge an agency whose negligence may have contributed to the problems. For-profit that promise to provide necessary skills and job placements have become common. The schools profit, but not the majority of those students enrolled. Becoming a student establishes eligibility for student loans and funding for the schools. But WFAA confirmed that relatively few students are placed in the promised positions and that... read more

  • Burma VJ
    2010
    Burma VJ

    In the late summer and fall of 2007, great throngs of Burmese citizens, following the lead of Buddhist monks, began peaceful street protests of the ruling military junta. So repressive was the regime that the outside world only came to know of the so-called “Saffron Revolution” by way of the Democratic Voice of Burma. The brigade of volunteer, underground reporters filmed the protests — and the government’s eventual, brutal crackdown — with small video cameras and smuggled the footage by courier and the Internet to Norway. Supporters there supplied footage to CNN, the BBC and other news organizations and, via... read more

  • C-SPAN Video Library
    2010
    C-SPAN Video Library

    Like its television counterpart, the C-SPAN Video Library boasts a decidedly “no frills” design. Its interface is clean, clear and concise, making it easy for a user to dive right in. What he or she finds is a compilation of hundreds of thousands of hours of C-SPAN programming, archiving American history as it’s been made over the last quarter century’s congressional proceedings, subcommittee hearings, White House events, presidential debates and more, not to mention C-SPAN originals like Washington Journal and Book TV. The database is eminently searchable by date, bill, speaker, issue and many other criteria. Users can also browse... read more

  • Coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill
    2010
    Coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill

    CNN’s coverage of this massive man-made disaster demonstrated the full potential of a highly developed news organization. Events such as the Deepwater Horizon failure can rarely be precisely defined, encapsulated or analyzed as singular occurrences. Rather, they expand, ripple into the lives of individuals and communities and extend through layers of science, economics, sociology and culture. Explanations require organizations capable of matching a bewildering array of developing consequences. CNN was such an organization on this occasion. Crews were the first to charter boats near the Deepwater rig, the first to document spreading oil and dispersants with submersible technology. CNN broadcast... read more

  • Covering Pakistan: War, Flood and Social Issues
    2010
    Covering Pakistan: War, Flood and Social Issues

    Islamabad-based NPR correspondent Julie McCarthy has covered the full spectrum of stories in Pakistan, a complex and conflicted state that defies easy solutions. She brings context, understanding, patience and courage to her writing and reporting, along with a radio voice that commands our full attention. Whether she is covering turmoil in the Swat Valley, a traditional Taliban stronghold now in government hands, the misapplication of Islamic blasphemy statutes to Pakistani women of other faiths, or the murky circumstances of child labor in Pakistan through the mysterious death of a 13-year-old girl, McCarthy brings us the voices involved close-up, and she... read more

  • Degrassi: My Body Is A Cage
    2010
    Degrassi: My Body Is A Cage

    In its 30-year history Degrassi has become an institution noted for its focus on topics common to young people. As self-described, Degrassi “has honestly depicted issues of love, and love lost, betrayal, death, violence, pregnancy, rape, sexual identity, blended family, mental health, sex, drugs, and yes, even rock ‘n’ roll.” This key word is “honestly.” Degrassi‘s honesty comes from good stories, outstanding writing and performances and plenty of humor. “My Body Is A Cage” is no exception. Adam/Gracie, beautifully portrayed by Jordan Todosey, is a female to male transgendered teen. “I’m a guy…but I was born in a girl’s body.”... read more

  • For Neda
    2010
    For Neda

    Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, became the face of the struggle for freedom in Iran after she was shot in the heart by a sniper at a protest march in June 2009. Bystanders’ cell-phone video of her lying in the street, wide-eyed as life bled from her, was seen by millions around the world. For Neda wants her to be remembered for her life as well as her death, and it succeeds. The documentary by Antony Thomas, who interviewed experts and exiles outside Iran, incorporates the work of Saeed Kamali Dehghan, who cleverly disguised his intentions and his camera to conduct forbidden... read more

  • FRONTLINE: The Wounded Platoon
    2010
    FRONTLINE: The Wounded Platoon

    Rampant post-traumatic stress among members of a single platoon out of Fort Carson, Colorado, is the focus of this deeply troubling documentary. It calls into question not only the adequacy of the U.S. military’s mental-health services but also the wisdom of extended deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan to offset the shortfalls of a volunteer fighting force. Decorated veterans serving prison sentences for serious home-front crimes — drug dealing, spouse abuse, robbery, murder — talk candidly about the moral numbness required to survive amid IEDs ubiquitous as litter and foes indistinguishable from non-combatants. They talk of the difficulty of adjusting to... read more

  • Great Performances: Macbeth
    2010
    Great Performances: Macbeth

    In this Great Performances production adapted by Rupert Goold from his 2008 theatrical staging, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth becomes an unnerving film noir, its story of power-lust, murder and guilt accentuated with dramatic camera angles and moody lighting. The production shifts the play’s setting to a more modern time. The costumes and the occasional snippets of grainy, black-and-white footage of artillery battles evoke the 1930s and ‘40s. As Macbeth, Patrick Stewart sports a heavy, Stalin-esque moustache. His castle is a maze of cold, tiled rooms and winding, naked tunnels that also evoke totalitarianism. Inventive touches abound the witches, got up in... read more

  • If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise
    2010
    If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise

    While Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke (itself a Peabody winner in 2006) was the most significant filmic reconstruction of the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, his follow-up, If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, actually broadens the scope. Shot to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the storm’s historic assault on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (and the widely recognized governmental shortfalls that followed), the four hour film revisits many of the faces from its predecessor: New Orleans East resident Phyllis Montana-Leblanc recites the poem that gives the film its name, rapper Shelton “Shakespeare” Alexander offers his perspective... read more

  • Independent Lens: Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian
    2010
    Independent Lens: Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian

    Speaking of the Oscar-winning movie Dances with Wolves, film critic Jesse Wendt, an Ojibwa, observes that it’s well-made, that it attempts to give its North American Native characters real dimension and is intended to be sympathetic. “But it’s not us,” he says, thereby encapsulating the overarching theme of Reel Injun, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond’s survey of Hollywood’s fanciful, confused, contradictory representation of Native people. Reaching back to the silent era, Diamond’s documentary appalls and amuses, sometimes both at once. Weaving together interviews with filmmakers, activists, historians and comedians with clips culled from everything from “cowboys-and-Indians” epics by John Ford to... read more

  • Justified
    2010
    Justified

    In the opening sequence of the first episode of Justified, Raylan Givens, a Deputy United States Marshall, confronts a polished, sophisticated drug dealer at a posh Miami restaurant. Givens has issued an ultimatum — get out of town or die. He pushes and goads until the dealer reaches for a pistol, draws his own, and kills the criminal. So begins the central question that drives the continuing narrative of the series: When is this kind of moral judgment, this kind of violence, this kind of “law enforcement” justified? Givens is “punished” for his action by being assigned to his home... read more

  • Lucia’s Letter
    2010
    Lucia’s Letter

    Lucia’s Letter is a documentary inspired by an audio “letter,” a composite derived from interviews with several Guatemalan women who had hired smugglers — “coyotes” — to sneak them into the United States. The women, to their horror, found themselves enslaved by their supposed saviors, forced to work for them or sold to others as indentured field hands or as prostitutes. When the letter, a heartfelt warning to young women who might make the same mistake, was recorded at WGCU’s studios, Amy Tardif, the station manager and news director, was so affected that she made it her mission to dig... read more

  • Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals
    2010
    Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals

    In any arena—sport, politics, even religion—there are occasions when key individuals emerge as defining figures. In such instances the very meaning of those larger arenas is intensified. The beginning of one such occasion may have occurred in the 1979 NCAA Championship basketball game between Michigan State University and Indiana State University. In that game Magic Johnson and Larry Bird played against one another for the first time. For a decade these rivals would come to exemplify basketball, sports rivalries, fandom, loyalty, victory and defeat. The distinctions, some would say clashes, between their personalities would cast a different light on each... read more

  • Masterpiece: Sherlock: A Study in Pink
    2010
    Masterpiece: Sherlock: A Study in Pink

    The titular Sherlock is, of course, that Holmes fellow, the world’s greatest detective, a literary icon created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle more than a century ago. Here he has been brashly updated for the age of CSI and Twitter by writer-producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, and their heresy is exhilarating. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, trading the deer-stalker wardrobe for basic boho black, is haughty, impatient, mercurial, obsessive, almost invariably right and yet somehow still charming. Dr. Watson (Martin Freeman), meanwhile, is practically reinvented. No mere scribbling sidekick, he’s an Afghan war veteran, fluent in forensics, all too familiar with... read more

  • Men of a Certain Age
    2010
    Men of a Certain Age

    The “certain” age in the title of this outstanding series might best be defined as “the age of uncertainty.” The three central characters are members of that vague demographic, “middle age.” They face the fact that things just didn’t turn out as planned, or perhaps even as wished for. Joe (Ray Romano), divorced, tries to maintain good relations with his children and start “good relations” with women he meets. Terry (Scott Bakula), an actor whose career never took off, has often found success with women, an achievement noted by his two friends. But even for him this is a fading... read more

  • POV: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
    2010
    POV: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

    Here, Daniel Ellsberg narrates his own story, but that story is much more than a personal biography. It is a story of a transformation that had consequences far beyond any anguish or guilt or innocence, beyond notions of bravery or betrayal. Rather, it is all those things as they swirl about Ellsberg and those who surround him. The woman who was to become his wife first rejected him because of his complicity in making war, then was transformed by his transformation and stood with him in his actions. Professional colleagues divided into camps, those who applauded or assisted and those... read more

  • Radiolab
    2010
    Radiolab

    As that rare program that probes the nature of human experience, WNYC’s Radiolab would function well enough. But it’s the marriage of topic (each more thought-provoking than the last) and design (amazingly robust soundscapes and perfect pacing) that makes Radiolab a true work of art. Hosts Jad Abrumad and Robert Krulwich address scientific questions in almost impossibly abstract terms, letting guests and their stories fill in the blanks. Through an exploration of a chimpanzee raised in a human household in “Lucy,” Krulwich and Abrumad seek out the essential qualities that separate animal and human (with surprising results), while “Words” questions... read more

  • Reality Check: Where Are the Jobs?
    2010
    Reality Check: Where Are the Jobs?

    In this report, award-winning station WTHR-TV’s Eyewitness News continues a tradition of outstanding investigative reporting. Reporter Bob Segall and his 13 Investigates team, including Bill Ditton and Jim Hall, examined repeated claims made by Indiana’s Economic Development Corporation, claims citing the creation of 100,000 new jobs and billions of dollars in economic development projects. The agency refused, however, to provide proof of these numbers. When the team then traveled throughout the state, they discovered abandoned buildings and empty fields, sites listed as providing the jobs and the money. Publicity touting the successes merely reported “planned projects,” with “projected job numbers”... read more

  • Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes
    2010
    Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes

    Following up on U.S. Justice Department-funded research that estimated that one in five college women will become victims of sexual assault during their campus years, National Public Radio’s investigative unit teamed up with the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) to study the failure of schools to prevent such assaults and how they deal with the aftermath. The reporters found that most colleges are lax about pursuing sexual assault complaints and that, even when men at those schools are found responsible, fewer than 25 percent of them are expelled. In a worst-case scenario, a Michigan school was caught attempting to pass... read more

  • Temple Grandin
    2010
    Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin is an autistic woman who discovered she had unique insights into animal psychology and parlayed her gifts into a PhD, livestock-industry consulting, lecturing and best-selling books. How she overcame formidable odds to achieve so much has been the subject of dozens of profiles, including an excellent BBC documentary, The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow. The feat of HBO’s biographical drama Temple Grandin, directed by Mick Jackson, is that it gives viewers a sense of what it’s like to be inside the busy, hyper-sensitive mind of an autistic person like her. Grandin says she “thinks in pictures,” so... read more

  • The Cost of War: Traumatic Brain Injury; Coming Home a Different Person
    2010
    The Cost of War: Traumatic Brain Injury; Coming Home a Different Person

    In Coming Home a Different Person, the cost of war is revealed through the stories, photographs, and interviews of military service members returning home with traumatic brain injuries, or TBI. Expert testimonials coupled with interactive features provide some of the scientific and medical vocabulary behind the injuries. But it is in the stories of five servicemen returning home where we learn how the complications of TBI extend beyond the hospital walls. As one neuro-psychiatrist says, “When there is physical injury to this organ it changes the essence of who we are as people.” How service members and their loved ones... read more

  • The Good Wife
    2010
    The Good Wife

    How often we’ve seen the sad tableau: The dutiful politician’s spouse stands stoically behind her man as he seeks forgiveness from her, his family and his constituents for a lapse of judgment and ethics — on live TV. Writer-producers Michelle and Robert King extrapolated this scenario into The Good Wife, invigorating the cliche with vivid characterization and a narrative both imaginative and logical. After her husband is disgraced by sexual scandal and jailed for corruption, Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) nervously resumes her abandoned law career to support herself and two children. At Chicago’s Stern, Lockhart & Gardner, she finds conscience... read more

  • The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today
    2010
    The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today

    The debate over allowing prayer and Bible reading in our schools remains contentious, yet few Americans on either side of this divisive issue remember the specific lawsuit that led to the 1948 Supreme Court decision establishing, by an 8-1 vote, the principle of separation of church and state. Vashti McCollum, a teacher’s wife and an atheist, initially sued the public school system of Champaign, Illinois, where she had sons enrolled, because school-day time and facilities were being used for religious instruction. The classes were voluntary, but McCollum’s boys were subjected to ostracism and taunting for not attending. She objected, and... read more

  • The Moth Radio Hour
    2010
    The Moth Radio Hour

    On the face of it, there isn’t much to The Moth Radio Hour—just a bunch of true stories told live, on stage, without notes. But as the program and its parent organization The Moth (a society dedicated to the promotion of storytelling) remind us, in life, the story is really all we have. When those stories are as rich, funny and heartrending as those collected on The Moth Radio Hour, that’s not a bad thing at all. The program’s “tellers” range from famous comedians like Colin Quinn and Mike Birbiglia, to writers like Jonathan Ames, to ordinary people discovered at... read more

  • The Pacific
    2010
    The Pacific

    America’s engagement in the Pacific combat theatre of World War II remains a powerful memory for members of “The Greatest Generation.” Now, for millions of viewers the HBO production, The Pacific, takes its place in the general, shared history of those events. For some it will renew personal stories, horribly painful or gloriously heroic. For other viewers, those without personal memories of the times, The Pacific may “become” the war in the Pacific. The series follows the war as it moves across the islands where the fiercest battles took place. The focus on a handful of individuals personalizes the brutality,... read more

  • The Promised Land with Host Majora Carter
    2010
    The Promised Land with Host Majora Carter

    Talk radio today encompasses sermonizing, pontification, bloviating and a fair amount of interesting chitchat, but rarely do we hear sustained, smart conversation about ideas. The Promised Land with Host Majora Carter is not conventional talk radio. Carter gets out and about with her guests. But even when she’s up a tree in the Olympic rain forest with Nalini Nadkarni, “queen of forest canopy research,” she’s engaged in a buoyant dialogue about biodiversity, climate and sustainability. Carter, a pioneer in sustainable urban living, aka “ghetto greening,” devotes her airtime to visionary Americans who are pursuing ideas and projects to make their... read more

  • Trafficked: A Youth Radio Investigation
    2010
    Trafficked: A Youth Radio Investigation

    Youth Radio’s Trafficked investigates society’s most troubling underground industry from the point of view of its survivors. The setting is Oakland, California, though the girls’ stories and interviews with local officials remind us that child sex trafficking is a national epidemic. The multi-platform project addresses the many sources of the problem, from desperate home lives and abusive relationships to citizen intimidation and the criminalization of youth victims. An estimated 100 young people are trafficked in just one area of Oakland every night. Once released from police custody, many of the victims go back to the streets, having no home or... read more

  • Who Killed Doc?
    2010
    Who Killed Doc?

    Minnesotan David Cedergren served in Iraq as a combat medic. When he died while in service, his family was told the cause was a pre-existing physical condition. They were never convinced, and a year-long investigation by KSTP-TV proved them right. “Doc” Cedergren was electrocuted while showering in makeshift facilities. In the course of this investigation, other soldiers revealed a pattern of neglect. Officers had been repeatedly warned of the hazardous conditions. Numerous accounts cited electrical shocks in the shoddily constructed showers. One document detailed the hiring of older Iraqi workers to repair the facilities because “if they had lived this... read more

  • Wonders of the Solar System with Brian Cox
    2010
    Wonders of the Solar System with Brian Cox

    Brian Cox is almost certainly the only human in history to hold a chair in particle physics (Manchester University) and have a hit record to his credit. His pop-star look, ease with explaining complicated concepts and infectious enthusiasm are among the virtues of Wonders of the Solar System. The series is also a poetically gorgeous travelogue— come see the planets through the taillights of comets, go dancing in the swirling Milky Way — even as Cox addresses big concepts such as the age of our sun and how long it’s going to last. And the stunning visuals are not limited... read more

  • Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children
    2010
    Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children

    Zimbabwe is a nation with shining, modern cities and breathtaking natural beauty, but also one with hideous poverty and squalor. Its repressive government is happy to show off the former, just not the latter. Indeed, anyone who attempts to film the decrepit shanty towns or children mining garbage dumps for re-sellable bottles or junk risks arrest and imprisonment. Producer Xoliswa Sithole and her director/cameraman, Jezza Neumann, took the risk, conning their way into Sithole’s homeland on the pretense of making a film about her childhood. The footage they got on the sly is amazingly sharp and clear, even artful at... read more