The Peabody Awards

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  • “CNN’s Reporting of the Arab Spring;” “Uprising in Libya;” “Egypt—Wave of Discontent”
    “CNN’s Reporting of the Arab Spring;” “Uprising in Libya;” “Egypt—Wave of Discontent”

    As citizens throughout the Middle East rose up against dictatorial governments in the spring of 2011, CNN provided coverage both wide and deep. A network of correspondents traveled across the region, from Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain to Yemen and Libya. They were present for almost every major event, providing visual information made more meaningful with informed commentary and analysis—Nic Robertson’s discovery of the Lockerbie bomber near death in a luxury compound, Sara Sidner accompanying rebels into the Gaddafi... read more

  • A Year in the Clouds
    A Year in the Clouds

    Once so inaccessible it was known as the Village of Darkness, Smangus, high in the mountains of Taiwan, is home to an indigenous people known as the Tayal. It has electricity now to power lights and stoves and the guitars that some of the youngsters have in their rooms, but the residents still maintain some old tribal ways, including labor-intensive farming methods and a communal way of life unique in all of modern Taiwan. All the Tayal’s land... read more

  • ABC News Brian Ross Investigates: Peace Corps—A Trust Betrayed
    ABC News Brian Ross Investigates: Peace Corps—A Trust Betrayed

    In November 2011, President Obama signed into law the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act. The law requires the Peace Corps to protect whistle blowers, hire victims’ advocates and improve volunteer training in order to reduce the risk of sexual assault. Brian Ross Investigates: Peace Corps—A Trust Betrayed was influential in the passage of this important legislation. The 10-month investigation began with a focus on the murder of Kate Puzey, a 24-year-old volunteer in Benin. Puzey had... read more

  • Al Jazeera’s Coverage of the Arab Awakening
    Al Jazeera’s Coverage of the Arab Awakening

    From December 2010, when pro-democracy protests erupted in Tunisia, through the end of 2011, Al Jazeera was the network of record for millions of viewers throughout the world and a source of video for many other news organizations. Its correspondents, often natives of the countries they were covering, took viewers into the frenzy and heat of demonstrations, taking great risks to describe events as they happened. The network managed to keep reporting from Egypt despite the forcible shutdown... read more

  • American Experience: “Triangle Fire;” “Freedom Riders;” “Stonewall Uprising”
    American Experience: “Triangle Fire;” “Freedom Riders;” “Stonewall Uprising”

    One can learn a great deal about American history by studying its breaking points, those moments where the joint that holds together an unjust status quo can no longer hold. For twenty-two years, American Experience has told the stories of those watershed moments in brilliant, deeply investigative detail. In three excellent documentaries this year, American Experience explored abhorrent early 20th Century factory conditions; a noble, bloody, and ultimately triumphant struggle in the nascent Civil Rights movement; and the... read more

  • American Masters: Eames—The Architect and the Painter
    American Masters: Eames—The Architect and the Painter

    Watching this documentary about Charles and Ray Eames, the first couple of American design, is like shaking a kaleidoscope. The viewer is treated to a dazzling tumble of images and interviews. They entertain, instruct and do perfect justice to the Eameses’ boundless, playful creativity. The couple is best known for their affordable, functional mid-century furniture, which transformed how middle class families furnished their homes. Even Americans who don‘t know their names have likely sat in a contoured “Eames... read more

  • Arab Spring from Egypt to Libya
    Arab Spring from Egypt to Libya

    From mass demonstrations in Egypt that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak to the uprising in Libya against long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi, news stories about upheaval in the Arab world dominated headlines throughout 2011. NPR was on the ground and in the thick of the action, providing listeners with moving details of history in the making. Contextualization of unfolding events in informative narrative reporting transported NPR listeners to scene after scene. Coverage was consistent, deep and... read more

  • BBC.com
    BBC.com

    Developed for North America but translatable with a mere mouse click from English into more than 20 other languages, including Hindi, Portuguese and Swahili, BBC.com is the latest evolutionary step of Great Britain’s venerable media giant. As is to be expected, the primary focus of the website is breaking news, and true to BBC traditions, the news offered here in text and video is international in scope and significance. The site connects its visitors to 72 BBC news... read more

  • CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute
    CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute

    CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute was hosted by Anderson Cooper, assisted by celebrity presenters, and attended by an audience that included additional familiar faces from film, television, music and the arts. But the real stars of this philanthropic campaign‘s fifth televised celebration were the individuals it honored. Their work changed lives. They‘re people who provided wheelchairs for the disabled in Mexico, helped with financial assistance for those impoverished in the U.S., gave thrown-away hotel soap to the poorest... read more

  • Desert Underwater
    Desert Underwater

    Las Vegas is the epicenter of the housing market collapse. When KLAS began its special report on this issue, 63 percent of homes in the area were worth less than what was owed on them. Half the homes on the market were listed at less than what was owed. The problems embedded in these circumstances remain complicated, confusing, sometimes criminal. In a two-week series of stories and a one-hour special, KLAS examined causes, effects and the impact of... read more

  • Earth Made of Glass
    Earth Made of Glass

    Earth Made of Glass looks back at the horrors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. But it also looks forward to truth, peace and reconciliation taking place now and moving into the future. Two men stand at the center of this moving documentary. In a series of interviews, Rwandan president Paul Kagame addresses the tragedies of his Rwanda‘s past. With a quiet passion for his country, he expresses the need for forward movement on Rwanda’s own terms, not... read more

  • Fareed Zakaria GPS: Interpretation and Commentary on Iran and The GPS Primetime Special: Restoring the American Dream—Fixing Education
    Fareed Zakaria GPS: Interpretation and Commentary on Iran and The GPS Primetime Special: Restoring the American Dream—Fixing Education

    Since 2008, Fareed Zakaria GPS has explored, examined and analyzed the “Global Public Square.” Zakaria has interviewed an astounding array of influential public figures: authors, political leaders, journalists and academics. With wide-ranging background knowledge and a keen sense of the immediately important, he engages these guests in a manner that provides viewers with rich and nuanced perspectives. In 2011, two instances exemplified the most effective application of these strategies. In a series of commentaries and interviews, including one... read more

  • Game of Thrones
    Game of Thrones

    George R.R. Martin‘s A Song of Ice and Fire is the kind of book series that begs for cinematic rendering. It‘s a sprawling fantasy epic where dozens of characters exist as small pieces of an incredibly elaborate puzzle. The television adaptation, Game of Thrones, maintains the power and wonder of the original work, in many ways transcending it, with the help of stellar turns from Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and others as major players within the... read more

  • Homeland
    Homeland

    When U.S. Marines raid an Al Qaeda stronghold in Afghanistan, they find a scraggly-bearded POW trapped in a spider hole. “American,” he stammers. “I‘m an American.” After eight years in captivity, Sergeant Nicholas Brody returns to the United States as a hero. But CIA agent Carrie Mathison is skeptical, revealing to her mentor, Saul Berenson, that she has information that suggests Brody might be the tip of the spear of a major terrorist attack on American soil. Homeland... read more

  • Human Rights Watch: “Acting Up: Russia’s Civil Society” and “Gold’s Costly Dividend: The Porgera Joint Venture”
    Human Rights Watch: “Acting Up: Russia’s Civil Society” and “Gold’s Costly Dividend: The Porgera Joint Venture”

    For more than 30 years, Human Rights Watch has been dedicated to protecting the rights of people around the world through rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy. These two arresting and detailed online reports combine photography, video, interviews and written analysis to tell compelling stories. Acting Up: Russia‘s Civil Society marks the historic 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union and documents the stories of Russian dissidents. It includes portraits of Russian activists by the... read more

  • Independent Lens: Bhutto
    Independent Lens: Bhutto

    Bhutto is primarily a biography of Benazir Bhutto, the charismatic former Pakistani prime minister who was assassinated in 2007 when she returned from exile to challenge the regressive political order. But it‘s also a succinct account of the rise and downfall of her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan‘s first democratically elected prime minister, and a crash course in the history of this chronically poor, nuclear-armed nation whose fate remains tangled with that of the United States. Director Duane... read more

  • Institutional Award: Austin City Limits
    Institutional Award: Austin City Limits

    What began in 1976 as a showcase for music of the Lone Star State—Tejano, Western swing, Texas blues, outlaw country, rock-‘n’-roll—has long since evolved into an internationally revered venue for pretty much the gamut of American popular music, including folk, jazz, jam, alt-rock and hip-hop. The 2011 season of Austin City Limits featured name artists as diverse as Widespread Panic, Gillian Welch, Coldplay and songwriting legend Randy Newman, who delighted the live studio audience at Austin’s spacious Moody... read more

  • Intersexions
    Intersexions

    Intersexions is an outstanding blend of entertainment, education, information and public service. In 26 episodes, the series presented the interrelated stories of sexual relationships across age, geographic region, racial and class boundaries. A range of risk scenarios highlighted the many circumstances that might lead to HIV infection and AIDS. Situations, characters and social contexts created a “ma”? used to explore and answer the key question, “Do you know your lovers’ lovers?” Every indication, from ratings to research, indicates... read more

  • Jeopardy!
    Jeopardy!

    “A three-day competition pitting past champions against an artificial intelligence machine dubbed “Watson” underscored this long-running quiz show’s iconic status while reminding us how much expensive technology is required to surpass the storage and recall capacity of a compact human brain.” If we pretend the preceding is an answer, then the obvious, correct question is: “What is Jeopardy!?” The game show with the trademark answer-and-question format, dreamed up by Merv Griffin, premiered in 1964. The current syndicated version,... read more

  • Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families
    Native Foster Care: Lost Children, Shattered Families

    The Indian Child Welfare act, passed by Congress in 1978, mandates that Native American children should not be separated from their relatives or tribes. At least 32 states, however, are failing in some way to abide by this law. This three-part series focuses on what is perhaps the most egregious violation of those guidelines, the actions of the Department of Social Services in South Dakota. There, some 700 children are removed from their homes each year. Most are... read more

  • News Magazine: “People’s Republic of Cheating” and “Misjudged Cases”
    News Magazine: “People’s Republic of Cheating” and “Misjudged Cases”

    Both of these reports by TVB Jade Channel‘s News Magazine expose deep, reform-resistant problems in China‘s culture. “People‘s Republic of Cheating” focuses on rampant academic fraud and how it undermines the country‘s credibility and wastes public funds. One segment deals with Shanghai Jiao Tong University‘s claim to developing China‘s first digital signal process, which led to 100 million Yuan in government funding. The esteemed professor in charge had actually purchased Motorola microchips and had the logos sanded off.... read more

  • On Location
    On Location

    The GlobalPost series On Location published 75 videos on the website in 2011, utilizing the work of correspondents and videographers who live in the countries they cover. Nine of these video reports were submitted for consideration by the Peabody Board. The Board took special note of the fact that On Location focused attention on news and events too often overlooked or ignored by other organizations. In this sense, On Location fulfills the stated mission of GlobalPost “to provide... read more

  • Operation Deep Freeze
    Operation Deep Freeze

    When Charles Swinney was dying of cancer, his soon-to-be widow made a telephone call to the investigative unit of WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio. She informed the team that her husband, along with thousands of other U.S. Navy personnel, had been repeatedly exposed to radiation while serving at McMurdo Station in Antarctica in the 1960s and 1970s. The WEWS team, led by Chief Investigator Ron Regan, discovered government documents, traveled across seven states to interview other veterans, and uncovered... read more

  • Parks and Recreation
    Parks and Recreation

    In the face of adversity, an obstinate populace, a blissfully incompetent local media, even her own overactive professional drive, Deputy Parks Director Leslie Knope gets things done. Of course, she has help from her department’s motley assemblage of governmental misfits: Tom Haverford, who plays at being an entertainment mogul to offset the realities of middle management, April Ludgate, intern-cum-personal assistant whose hipper-than-thou exterior betrays a depth of altruism, and Parks Director Ron Swanson, a staunch anti-bureaucrat and modern-day... read more

  • Portlandia
    Portlandia

    To the minds of Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, the creators and stars of Portlandia, the “dream of the 90s” has never ended in Portland, Oregon. It‘s a place where punk rock and performance art will never go out of fashion, where the supplies of organic food, fixed-gear bicycles and tattoo ink are endless, and where 20-somethings can comfortably retire. Its residents indulge their personal senses of art, authenticity and coolness, often to the point of obsession. Portrayed... read more

  • POV: My Perestroika
    POV: My Perestroika

    Russia’s uneasy transition away from communism after the Soviet Union’s collapse is illuminated from the inside out in this engrossing, deeply humane, at times haunting documentary. Filmmaker Robin Hessman extensively interviewed five adults who were schoolmates in Moscow in the 1970s and ‘80s. Borya and Lyuba, a married couple, are teachers. Andrei imports men’s shirts from France and has a growing string of stores. Ruslan, a musician, plays guitar and blues harp for tips in the subway and... read more

  • POV: StoryCorps 9/11
    POV: StoryCorps 9/11

    StoryCorps has spent years recording American history through stories told by everyday citizens from all walks of life. So it is a natural fit that the organization would be a key player in reconstructing the personal narratives of the September 11, 2001, tragedy at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. What is truly fascinating about StoryCorps’ 9/11 project, and what makes it such a unique statement about the events of that fateful day, is its scope:... read more

  • Rebirth
    Rebirth

    The documentary film Rebirth is a prescient and patient project by Jim Whitaker. The year after the 9/11 attacks in New York City, he had the foresight to recruit five people whose lives had been dramatically altered by the destruction of the World Trade Center towers: a severely burned survivor, a teenager who lost his mother, a young woman who lost her fiancée, a construction worker whose brother was killed, and a firefighter who lost a coworker who... read more

  • Somalia: Land of Anarchy
    Somalia: Land of Anarchy

    Six years after his producer was shot dead in Somalia, BBC correspondent Peter Greste returned to the war-ravaged African nation to document everyday life. What he and cameraman/director Fred Scott report in this segment of the current affairs series Panorama is beyond unsettling. Somalia’s misery is encyclopedic: Buildings and infrastructure bombed to rubble. Famine. Disease. Refugee camps. Pirates, rebels and religious fanatics vying for control in a never-ending scrum of war. At great personal risk, Greste and Scott... read more

  • Surviving the Tsunami
    Surviving the Tsunami

    In the opening sequence of this riveting documentary, viewers are looking across the bow of a Japanese Coast Guard vessel as its sails toward the earthquake-induced, first wave of the March 11, 2011, tsunami. “Be careful,” a crewman shouts. “The glass might break.” No glass breaks, but the ship seems to stand bolt upright before clearing the top of the wave. It‘s the first of many remarkable institutional and personal video clips that NHK‘s editors intercut with now-familiar... read more

  • TED.com
    TED.com

    TED (which stands for technology, entertainment and design) is a non-profit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” The original TED conference in 1984 brought together people from around the world, and from there it has grown in scope and reach. TED.com today archives all manner of TED Talks from its various global conferences, free of charge. Speakers as diverse as Bill Gates, Diana Nyad and Kenyan high school students have addressed creative solutions to global problems during these... read more

  • The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley: Inside Syria
    The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley: Inside Syria

    In November 2011, as Syria slid inexorably toward civil war, CBS News correspondent Clarissa Ward donned hijab-compliant clothing and entered the country posing as a tourist. With a small, disguised camera and no crew, she captured video for what became three remarkable Evening News reports. In the first, she interviews a defiant protestor shot and crippled by government security forces in Homs and attends the funeral of a 16-year-old boy shot the day before. Her video puts viewers... read more

  • The Colbert Report—Super PAC Segments
    The Colbert Report—Super PAC Segments

    In a satirical protest against megabucks politics, Stephen Colbert launched his own Super PAC, “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow,” and began soliciting donations on his nightly show in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court‘s Citizens United ruling that allowed unlimited political contributions with very limited transparency. The Federal Election Commission ruled that Colbert could indeed create and operate his Super PAC, and he was off and running. “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow” became an active participant... read more

  • The Untold Stories of the Tsunami in Japan—March 11, 2011
    The Untold Stories of the Tsunami in Japan—March 11, 2011

    With video from stationary surveillance cameras that survived the flooding and footage shot by coastal residents who didn’t fully comprehend the danger they were in, producer Takanori Ohno and director Sakiko Miyashita assembled a chronological account of the staggering tsunami. They augmented the footage with animation that explains the dynamics of this particular tsunami and illustrates the miraculous escapes of several individuals, including a woman whose minivan was pinned to a highway guard rail by the torrent. Her... read more

  • Their Crime, Your Dime
    Their Crime, Your Dime

    When the KING-TV news department began an investigation of welfare fraud in their communities, the surprise was just how easily the schemes could be uncovered. Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards were created by the state‘s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) to facilitate ease of use by legitimate recipients. When reported lost, however, replacement cards would be issued on the spot. The DSHS reported an average of 27,000 replacements per month in the year prior to the... read more

  • Toxic Secrets
    Toxic Secrets

    In late 2010, Army veteran Steve House contacted the investigative news unit of CBS News 5. House was dying and wanted to give an account of his actions while stationed at an Army base in South Korea more than thirty years earlier. He and fellow soldiers had been ordered to bury drums of Agent Orange. Like House, others in the unit were ill. They attributed their sickness to Agent Orange and were concerned about how the chemicals they... read more

  • Treme
    Treme

    Renowned for its French Creole culture, its Mardi Gras celebrations and music, New Orleans gained a new, unwanted legacy after Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005. It became a victim when it was swamped by one of the most destructive storms in the history of the United States. Treme recounts the near-death experience of this American city and the lives of some of its diverse citizens—musicians, cooks, lawyers, university professors, contractors, plasterers—who love and understand their hometown’s soul.... read more

  • Who Killed Chea Vichea?
    Who Killed Chea Vichea?

    Cambodia exports clothing worth $2 billion to the United States each year. Its average garment worker makes about 28 cents per hour. Who Killed Chea Vichea? investigates the brazen murder of a prominent union activist. It‘s enterprising and chilling to watch. There‘s video of Chea Vichea talking about death threats and news footage of him lying dead and bleeding on a Phnom Penh sidewalk. An alleged shooter and a driver were convicted in a trial at which they... read more