The Peabody Awards honor the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio and digital media. Each year, Peabody Awards are bestowed upon a curated collection of 30 stories that capture society’s most important issues—known as The Peabody 30. Honorees are unanimously chosen by the Peabody Board of Jurors, a diverse assembly of industry professionals, media scholars, critics, and journalists who each bring a unique perspective of what constitutes a story that matters. From major Hollywood productions to local journalism, the network of Peabody Awards winners is a definitive collection of society’s most important stories and storytellers, including Edward R. Murrow, Carol Burnett, Walter Cronkite, Stephen Colbert, “Roots,” “The Sopranos,” “Sesame Street,” BBC World News, “Breaking Bad,” and “Serial.” The Peabody Awards were founded in 1940 at the University of Georgia, and are still based in Athens today.
1941 Peabody Presentation with William S. Paley, Marjorie Peabody Waite and Steadman Sanford
The 75th Peabody Awards in 2016
Peabody Media Center
The Peabody Media Center is a scholarly research center and media production arm of the prestigious Peabody Awards, with three mission components:
Peabody Programs extend the yearly awards winners and finalists through initiatives like the Peabody Digital Network, which develops and circulates new content that illuminates the social and political relevance of award-winning stories and guides public engagement with them. Additional program initiatives include podcasts, panel discussions, symposiums and conferences that link storytellers—including noted producers like Judd Apatow and TV icon Norman Lear (above)—with groups working to examine such issues.
Peabody Archive is the third largest repository of audiovisual materials in the United States, housed in the University of Georgia’s Special Collections Libraries [LINK}. Through books, films and digital media productions, the Peabody Archive’s Cultural Memory Project will connect past and present—recovering vital voices from yesterday’s storytellers and inserting them into debates over the issues of today.
Peabody Academy partners with industry organizations and previous Peabody Awards honorees to engage aspiring screenwriters, producers and filmmakers through master classes, seminars, workshops, internships and other educational activities. The Peabody Academy focuses on the storytellers of the future to guide and advance the creation of stories with the power to engage and transform. Central to these efforts are Peabody Fellows, a distinguished group of television and media studies scholars from across the country who provide fresh perspectives and commentary on how and why stories matter and their impact on media, culture and society.
Peabody Student Honor Board
The Peabody Student Honor Board serves as a unique experiential learning opportunity for University of Georgia students. Each year, a limited number of students are selected from an application process to serve as ambassadors at Peabody events, including the annual awards ceremony in New York. The 16-member board also evaluates and selects the winners for the annual Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards, which recognize innovation and excellence in digital programming. As part of the judging process, the students undertake a semester-long “New Digital Narratives” course, refining their critical-thinking and deliberation skills through examination of emerging media forms.
Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards
The Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards honor groundbreaking digital narratives and the technologies used to tell these stories. With a spirit of innovation at the core of both Peabody and Facebook, the organizations came together in 2015 to celebrate the most powerful narratives in an ever-changing digital landscape. Honorees are selected by the Peabody Student Honor Board and are deemed to have told a story that matters: a story that inspires empathy around the human condition, shapes our understanding of the world, transforms how we address important societal issues, and takes a chance with what it’s saying and how it’s told.