The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards

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  • “Exposure: Banaz: An Honour Killing” and “Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile”
    2012
    “Exposure: Banaz: An Honour Killing” and “Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile”

    Presented by ITV’s documentary anthology Exposure, these films exhibited both sensitivity and unblinking honesty in examining two different cultural horrors in Great Britain. Banaz: An Honour Killing chronicled a young Kurdish-British woman’s brutal murder –- punishment punishment ordered by members of her own family for shaming them. She had dared to leave her abusive husband and date another man. The crushing centerpiece is a video, recorded at one of her several visits to the police, in which she predicts her demise and the likely perpetrators. Almost as powerful are candid interviews with Banaz’s sister, who is in hiding, fearing for... read more

  • Breaking News: Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School
    2012
    Breaking News: Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School

    This is the kind of story no news organization wishes to encounter. It is also the kind of story that must be told and told in a manner that provides accurate reporting, important and useful information, and expanded analysis. These matters are especially important for those organizations closest to the story, organizations that are already a part of the community under duress. WVIT-TV in West Hartford, Connecticut, was that organization on December 14, 2012. Just before 10:00 a.m. that day, a fragmentary police scanner report indicated a shooting at a school. By 10:04 the station had confirmed, then reported, that... read more

  • CNN’s Coverage Inside Syria and Homs
    2012
    CNN’s Coverage Inside Syria and Homs

    By now, scenes of war in Syria are all too familiar. That must not mean, however, that those scenes have become meaningless or that they can be ignored. Despite the possibility of “war fatigue” among viewers, CNN mobilized wide-ranging international resources to provide powerful coverage of the continuing conflict. In the streets of Aleppo, we witness makeshift care for wounded children. We are placed in the midst of crowded funeral processions. We are also offered information that examines issues surrounding the Arab League’s failed attempt to broker a truce, and we are taken to pro-Assad rallies as well as anti-government... read more

  • Deception at Duke
    2012
    Deception at Duke

    In 2007, Duke University trumpeted its discovery of the “holy grail” of cancer research: a technique for matching chemotherapy with each patient’s unique genetic makeup. The treatment turned out to be not only a failure but also, as a seven-month 60 Minutes investigation found, one of the biggest medical-research frauds ever perpetrated. Duke was so certain of Dr. Anil Potti’s research, the university featured him in TV commercials touting his breakthrough (“Genomics will revolutionize cancer therapy”). But as other scientists studying his data came to suspect –- and 60 Minutes subsequently documented –- results of the clinical trials were falsified... read more

  • Design Ah!
    2012
    Design Ah!

    Design Ah! is designed to teach children to perceive objects and ideas from different perspectives, thereby inspiring creative thinking. Its short segments are minimalist and often mesmerizing. One is a stop-action parade of household and office chairs. Another segment deconstructs a truck, with each part shown for the unique design it is. In yet another, the images on the pages of a comic book gradually skitter and slink away, leaving the original blank sheet. Most segments are wordless. In one exception, industrial designer Ichiro Iwasaki advises budding designers: “Choose a flower and make it your own.” The wisdom is Zen,... read more

  • DL Hughley: The Endangered List
    2012
    DL Hughley: The Endangered List

    When this comedy special opens with its fake auditions for a Public Service Announcement viewers must wonder: What do these celebrities with their serious demeanor and their heartfelt tones mean when they soberly inform us that “Extinction Isn’t An Option”? What do they want us to do when they ask us to be “BroLife”? Soon enough, we learn. Comedian DL Hughley wants to have “the black man” put on the endangered species list. What seems at first a preposterous notion becomes less so when the comedy is supported with numbers and interviews. One in three black men will go to... read more

  • Ford Escape: Exposing a Deadly Defect
    2012
    Ford Escape: Exposing a Deadly Defect

    It’s every parent’s nightmare: to see your child in danger, but not be able to help. Saige Bloom was driving her 2002 Ford Escape when the vehicle accelerated, and despite everything she did to stop the car, it kept accelerating. Her mother, following behind in another car, called 911 for help. She watched helplessly as her daughter’s Escape swerved through traffic to avoid other drivers. Finally, Saige’s car clipped a grey sedan and flipped three times. Saige Bloom lost her life as a result of that accident. KNXV-TV reported on that initial accident, but didn’t stop there. The station uncovered... read more

  • Game Change
    2012
    Game Change

    From the best-selling book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, writer Danny Strong pulled out one of the most intriguing stories from the 2008 Presidential election. This HBO film details Sarah Palin’s run for the vice presidency as viewed from the perspective of political strategists who initially found her a bold choice for a troubled campaign. Subtly portrayed by Julianne Moore, Sarah Palin comes across as complex, determined and real. As the story unfolds, campaign strategists struggle to keep control of what is becoming a cascade of highly visible political mistakes. Through on-the-money writing and a combination of dramatic, humorous... read more

  • Girls
    2012
    Girls

    An edgy coming-of-age comedy-drama about 20-somethings living in Brooklyn, Girls grows out of the experiences of one woman –- Lena Dunham, the writer, director and star of this lightning rod of an HBO series. Funny, frustrating, irritating, vulnerable and extreme, Dunham’s lead character, Hannah Horvath, and her group of girlfriends are trying to make it in the big, glorious, intimidating city. Sound like a familiar TV tale? Well, it isn’t. Girls is so personal, idiosyncratic, self-indulgent and naked that it is unlike anything television has ever seen. And yet, in Dunham’s crazy, problematic world, viewers find reflections of their own... read more

  • Inside the National Recording Registry
    2012
    Inside the National Recording Registry

    Each year, the Library of Congress chooses 25 recordings to be preserved as part of its National Recording Registry, ranging from obscure cult albums (Love’s psychedelic pop opus Forever Changes), to inescapable musical gems (Vince Guaraldi’s soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas), to seminal historical artifacts (Éduoard Léon-Scott’s phonautograms from the 1850s). Aired nationally on Studio 360, Inside the National Recording Registry is a series of short documentaries that celebrates these historically significant works through interviews with creators, scholars, and notable fans. Hearing songwriter Giorgio Moroder break down the electronic musical roots of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” or actor... read more

  • Institutional Award: Doctor Who
    2012
    Institutional Award: Doctor Who

    Much like its eponymous character, Doctor Who has gone through numerous iterations since its creation in 1963. Including its original run of 26 seasons, various specials and television films, and the past seven years in its current incarnation, Doctor Who has been not just a standard-bearer for long-form science fiction on TV, but it also has served as a cultural ambassador for British television the world over. From its iconic contributions to the pop culture lexicon (like the TARDIS, perhaps the most innovative time machine since H.G. Wells’) to the debates it has inspired among its ardent fan base (who’s... read more

  • Institutional Award: Michael Apted’s ‘Up’ Series
    2012
    Institutional Award: Michael Apted’s ‘Up’ Series

    For nearly half a century, director Michael Apted has followed the life progress of 14 British children in his acclaimed Up series. Just 7 years old when 7Up was filmed in 1964, the subjects now are well into middle age. Eight installments of the series have been produced. The latest, 56Up, debuted in 2012. Interviews with the participants since 7Up have been voluntary, and all but one of the original 14 shared life updates in 56Up. Experiencing Apted’s series is like catching up with old friends as they face life’s challenges and comforts. We feel an intimacy with the subjects;... read more

  • Investigating the Fire
    2012
    Investigating the Fire

    On March 24, 2012, the Colorado State Forest Service set a controlled fire, also known as a prescribed burn, on Denver Water Department lands. The fire expanded into an out-of-control forest fire dubbed the Lower North Fork Fire. The fire burned 4,140 acres, destroyed 22 homes and killed three people. KMGH-TV assigned two reporters, Amanda Kost and Marshall Zellinger, to full-time coverage of the fire, its causes, its casualties and its aftermath. The station produced more than two dozen reports over 40 days. A 30-minute special report followed. This work discovered that the Forest Service neglected to monitor the prescribed... read more

  • Investigating the IRS
    2012
    Investigating the IRS

    In an extensive series of reports, Bob Segall and the WTHR investigative news team uncovered massive fraud costing American taxpayers billions of dollars. They also uncovered mismanagement and lack of oversight inside the Internal Revenue Service that allowed the fraudulent practices to go on. Acting on a tip from a tax preparer, WTHR found that large numbers of undocumented workers without Social Security numbers were filing tax returns using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers. ITIN numbers allowed them to claim additional Child Tax Credits of $1,000 per child with no limit to the number of credits so long as the children... read more

  • Joy in the Congo
    2012
    Joy in the Congo

    This ebullient 60 Minutes segment is an ode to joy in an African republic known mainly for its catastrophic civil war and entrenched poverty. It’s also an ode to ingenuity, perseverance and the power of music. At its center is Armand Diangienda, a Congolese man who taught himself to read music and play piano, trombone and cello while recruiting potential oboists and trumpeters with even less experience than he had. Now encompassing 200 musicians and singers, his Kinshasa-based Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste was founded with battered basses rescued from trash heaps and brass a half-step from the smelter. Diangienda tells correspondent... read more

  • Louie
    2012
    Louie

    Over the past several years, comedian Louis C.K. has gone from being a workaday “comic’s comic” to a household name, guest starring on sitcoms, making myriad late night appearances, and releasing a new hour-long comedy special each year. But with Louie, a semi-autobiographical starring vehicle that effectively juggles tone, genre and style, C.K. has carved out a weekly niche for his talents, both in front of and behind the camera. Acting as star, producer, director, writer, and editor, C.K. has created a series with a true auteur spirit. Louie has no regular cast (except C.K. as a divorced comedian with... read more

  • Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present
    2012
    Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present

    At one point, while training young artists who will participate in the Museum of Modern Art retrospective exhibition of her work, Marina Abramovic defines the discipline in which she works. “An artist has to be a warrior, has to have this determination and has to have the stamina to conquer not just new territory, but also conquer himself – and his weaknesses.” For nearly 40 years, Abramovic has made art within these parameters. As a performance artist she has been determined to use her body as her medium. Moving, waiting, clothed and unclothed, watched, examined, touched, touching – all these... read more

  • MLK: The Assassination Tapes
    2012
    MLK: The Assassination Tapes

    This illuminating documentary was made possible by the foresight of some University of Memphis faculty members. Sensing that a strike by the city’s black sanitation workers in February 1968 was going to be a crucial event in the Civil Rights Movement, they began collecting media coverage -– local TV, radio and print -– for their school’s archives. They continued as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came from Atlanta to speak, march, show solidarity, and eventually meet a martyr’s death. From this trove of material, much of it never seen outside Memphis, Tom Jennings and his colleagues painstakingly cobbled together... read more

  • Personal Award: Lorne Michaels
    2012
    Personal Award: Lorne Michaels

    Even without his most revered brainchild, Lorne Michaels has been a valuable contributor to the television landscape, producing significant comedies like 30 Rock, The Kids in the Hall, and NBC’s Late Night as hosted by both Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon. But it is of course Saturday Night Live, and its nearly forty-year run as the vanguard of popular American comedy, that earns Michaels his place in the pantheon. Starting out as a comedian and writer in Toronto’s celebrated comedy scene, Michaels has become one of television’s foremost curators of talent, and a place in Saturday Night Live’s repertory company... read more

  • Putin, Russia & The West
    2012
    Putin, Russia & The West

    In a remarkable four-hour documentary, key portions of the history of the early 21st Century are presented as a fine-grained tapestry. That history could have been told through the intimate personality profiles that emerge here. It could have been examined in the detailed explorations of how these personalities engaged one another across borders, over issues, and in tense negotiations. It could have chronicled major conflicts, defined in part by the events of September 11, 2001. What makes the series most powerful, however, is the constant reminder that none of these things can be best understood without the others, without context,... read more

  • Rapido y Furioso (Fast & Furious)
    2012
    Rapido y Furioso (Fast & Furious)

    The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ covert scheme to sell guns to Mexican drug traffickers and monitor their whereabouts came to light in the United States and sparked outrage after a Border Patrol agent was killed by smugglers with one of the weapons. Univision News’ graphic report, taking its title from the “gun-walking” program’s nickname, explores the bloody impact of the ill-conceived ATF program inside Mexico, including a cartel-ordered massacre using “Fast and Furious” weapons that left 14 teenagers dead at a birthday party. Univision’s investigative team also documented 57 previously unreported ATF weapons that turned up at... read more

  • Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel
    2012
    Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

    Bryant Gumbel’s long-running series could just as easily be titled Real Life. Sports is its springboard, but from its inception it has been more concerned with culture, ethics and human striving than with winning streaks or batting averages. Standout 2012 segments include “The Band Played On,” a query into the tragic death of a Florida A&M drum major during a hazing ritual that the university had tolerated for years. “Your Brain on Football” was one of several candid reports on the neurological damage to which players are allowed to expose themselves and how concussions impact their lives and ability to... read more

  • Reel Time: Salat (Bone Dry)
    2012
    Reel Time: Salat (Bone Dry)

    Responding to a Philippines National Nutrition Council’s study that determined that two out of 10 Filipino children are malnourished, GMA’s Reel Time series produced this unflinching documentary that makes the statistics heartbreakingly human. It focuses primarily on Vina Navarro, a widowed mother in Manila who struggles to feed herself and six small children on the pittance — the equivalent of about 48 cents per day — that she makes peeling garlic cloves. The video is remarkably intimate, capturing up-close the Navarros’ subsistence life in their cramped living quarters and the surrounding slums. We see her oldest child, Mary Rose, who’s... read more

  • Robin’s Journey
    2012
    Robin’s Journey

    Robin Roberts’ decision to reveal her confrontation of a life-threatening disease on June 11, 2012, was a decision to engage and involve her public, her viewers and those of ABC’s Good Morning America in what became a journey of exploration, education and commitment. The disease she was battling was rare: Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). It attacks the blood and bone marrow of its victims. The primary treatment is a bone marrow transplant. From the beginning of her diagnosis, to her consultations with colleagues, to her discovery that her sister provided a perfect match for the transplant, Roberts realized that her situation... read more

  • SCOTUSblog
    2012
    SCOTUSblog

    In many respects, SCOTUSblog is to the Supreme Court of the United States what ESPN.com is to the world of sports. It’s the place to go for stats and chat, commentary and analysis. There’s even something resembling play-by-play: Its “live blog” provides real-time coverage of orders and opinions, often ahead of the Court’s own website. But unlike ESPN.com or even cable television’s C-SPAN, SCOTUSblog is equally concerned with continuity and history. Visitors to the site can tap into archives that include case briefs, oral argument transcripts and audio, and the Court’s ultimate decisions. The postings can be arcane: Where but... read more

  • Sheikh Jarrah, My Neighbourhood
    2012
    Sheikh Jarrah, My Neighbourhood

    Mohammad al-Kurd is 13 years old and lives in one of the most contested regions on earth. The Sheikh Jarrah section of East Jerusalem has, for years now, been targeted by the Israeli government as a site for new Jewish settlements meant to forcibly displace the entrenched Palestinian population. So it was only a matter of time before the government came for Mohammad’s home, which had belonged to his family for generations. Directors Julia Bacha and Rebekah Wingert-Jabi tell the story of the forced evictions through young Mohammad’s eyes, first through his distrust of the Israeli government and its people,... read more

  • Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek
    2012
    Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek

    A spectacular realization of the potential of digital-age storytelling, Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek illustrates and enriches superb, traditional feature writing by John Branch. Using still-photo slide shows, animated simulations and stunning aerial video, it documents and analyzes the causes and deadly impact of a monster avalanche in Washington’s Cascade Mountains that was triggered by one or more of 16 professional free-skiers and ski-journalists invited to a “back country” run by a resort’s marketing manager. Five were swept away by the rampaging tidal wave of snow. Three of them died. Branch’s prose, enough for a long magazine article... read more

  • Southland
    2012
    Southland

    Southland is grounded in one of television’s most familiar and traditional forms, yet in each episode it shatters the traditions and startles with the unfamiliar. It’s not enough to say we’ve seen other police procedurals, seen tough officers in gritty Los Angeles neighborhoods. It’s not enough to say we’ve seen cops bend the rules or take heroic chances. Nor is it enough to say we know personal lives intersect with the professional in these settings and circumstances. The point is that we have so rarely seen these things done so well. Routine traffic stops erupt into major events. Violent confrontations... read more

  • Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished
    2012
    Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished

    A disturbing fact of today’s media culture is that despite hundreds of channels and thousands of reporters and reporting teams, significant events continue to go unreported, overlooked, unnoticed. One of these events was the Sri Lankan Civil War, a war that led to the deaths of an estimated 40,000 Tamil fighters and civilians. ITN/Channel 4 news reported on these events, but the first film it produced was deemed “fraudulent” by the Sri Lankan government, which mounted an extensive public relations campaign to discredit the work. This, the second film, was produced to demonstrate the truth of the first. New witnesses,... read more

  • Summer Pasture
    2012
    Summer Pasture

    A rare glimpse inside Chinese-occupied Tibet, Summer Pasture closely chronicles a year in the lives of Locho and Yama, a yak-herding nomadic couple, and their infant daughter on the remote, windswept grasslands of Dzachukha. It’s an existence dominated by near-endless chores, especially for the women: cooking, milking, cheese-making, gathering and drying yak dung for fires, a crucial task in this cold, treeless environment. Yet there is rarely a sense of desperation. Locho and Yama’s love for their lifestyle is unmistakable. So is their love for each other, though they bicker at times like Tibetan Honeymooners. And though they cannot read,... read more

  • Superstorm Sandy
    2012
    Superstorm Sandy

    The predictions were good. Everyone knew the storm named Sandy would be big even if no one could predict just how big. ABC News prepared well, provided coverage as the storm hit and continued service in the aftermath. All news units played a role. With extraordinary foresight, producers Jim DuBreuil and Keturah Gray placed themselves in Breezy Point, Queens, before the storm hit. As the flooding began and fires became visible, the families they stayed with and interviewed realized the dangers facing them because they had refused to evacuate. Other reporters in other sites, such as Terry Moran in Seaside... read more

  • Switched at Birth
    2012
    Switched at Birth

    Switched at Birth could have been a thoroughly conventional teen melodrama. Two families belatedly learn that their baby daughters were, in fact, switched. One family, the more affluent, is suing the hospital. The other, a working, single mother and her daughter, try to make the best of things. The girls know each other. The families interact. Though caught in these awkward circumstances, they somehow still seem to be teens, worrying over love lives, sports, school conflicts, everything we would expect. Except that one of the girls, Daphne, is deaf. She attends a school for the deaf and the hearing impaired,... read more

  • Syria 2012
    2012
    Syria 2012

    As the uprising of Syrian dissidents expanded throughout 2012 into full-fledged civil war, NPR correspondents Deborah Amos and Kelly McEvers provided a steady flow of information for their listeners. Their reports began with opportunities afforded by official visas. Focused on Damascus, they were able at times to travel outside the capital. Soon, however, McEvers was denied official entry by the government, and Amos found it increasingly difficult to obtain permission to enter Syria. Both correspondents continued to report, however, often from the Turkish border or following clandestine entry to conflict zones. Using Skype and YouTube, they provided detailed information on... read more

  • Teen Contender: An Audio Diary of One Girl’s Fight Inside and Outside the Ring
    2012
    Teen Contender: An Audio Diary of One Girl’s Fight Inside and Outside the Ring

    Radio Diaries’ storytelling philosophy that “ordinary life is newsworthy” is beautifully represented in the story of 16-year-old Olympic boxing contender Claressa Shields, who tells her audio diary: “I have this dream. I’m in England, London, and it’s the finals in the Olympics. I can hear the announcer –- I mean, they’re going to say, like: ‘And the first woman Olympian at 165 pounds is Claressa Shields.’” Sports as a means of overcoming adversity is a common trope, but what makes Claressa’s story different is the sport she chose: boxing. Powerfully told, Claressa’s tale of triumph is a model for disadvantaged... read more

  • The Leonard Lopate Show
    2012
    The Leonard Lopate Show

    For more than two decades, Leonard Lopate has quizzed and bantered live on the radio with architects and assemblymen, chefs and climatologists. With his guests he has knowledgeably and enthusiastically monitored the vital signs of New York City’s cultural and civic life. But the thing that truly sets his daily shows apart is Lopate and his producers’ knack for recognizing and explicating issues and activities that are being neglected by other media outlets despite their potential impact on the residents’ lives. In 2012, he engaged in spirited conversations about what a proposed multi-million dollar renovation and reorganization at the main... read more

  • The Loving Story
    2012
    The Loving Story

    In Nancy Buirski’s beautifully spare documentary film, a fundamental truth about the history of segregation is revealed almost in passing –- that so much of white Americans’ racial fear was tied to a kind of sexual panic. And amidst the shameful system of anti-miscegenation laws that dotted the southern United States well into the 20th century (the most tangible byproduct of those anxieties) lies the story of Richard Loving, a white Virginian, and his half-black, half-Native American wife, Mildred. Their fight to avoid both prison and exile for their “criminal” marriage is perhaps the most beautiful love story ever written... read more

  • This American Life: What Happened at Dos Erres
    2012
    This American Life: What Happened at Dos Erres

    This spellbinding documentary scrutinizes a Guatemalan civil-war atrocity and contextualizes its place in the long history of bloody conflict and political chaos in that country and the region. What makes the story especially powerful is how it’s personalized. At its center is the remarkable story of Oscar Ramirez. He was living in a Boston suburb in 2011 when he received a phone call from a prosecutor in Guatemala who had been investigating war crimes, including the 1982 Dos Erres slaughter. He had no memory of the village, let alone that he was one of the few survivors. But he was,... read more

  • Under Fire: Journalists in Combat
    2012
    Under Fire: Journalists in Combat

    Two reporters died covering World War I battles. In World War II, the toll climbed to 63. But in the world’s various invasions, rebellions and conflicts of the past two decades, more than 900 journalists have died, indicative of both the demand for more and more vivid coverage and the growing tendency of warring factions to treat reporters as enemies. If it accomplishes nothing else, Under Fire: Journalists in Combat makes the indelible point that every richly detailed dispatch we read and every kinetic, up-close video or photograph that we see is the product of a journalist’s incredible bravery -–... read more

  • Why Poverty?
    2012
    Why Poverty?

    A collection of eight documentaries televised by networks in 69 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe, Why Poverty? addresses when, where, what and how as well. Each film is distinct in tone and style and examines different facets of the subject. “Welcome to the World,” for instance, documents the vastly different circumstances under which 130 million babies are born worldwide each year. More a video essay, “Park Avenue: Money, Power & the American Dream” doesn’t hide its indignation at the extreme disparity of wealth it finds on opposite ends of the fabled Manhattan thoroughfare. “Give Us the Money” questions whether celebrity-fronted... read more