The 75th annual Peabody Awards, recognizing excellence in broadcast media, were presented May 21, 2016, at Cipriani Wall Street. Keegan-Michael Key was the host. (Photo/Sarah E. Freeman/Grady College, in New York City, Georgia, on Saturday, May 21, 2016)
The Peabody Facebook Futures of Media Award recognizes storytelling that uses 3-D modeling, virtual reality, interactive websites and video games.

Six Winners of Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards announced

Annual honor recognizes innovative digital storytelling in multiple platforms; winners to be celebrated at NYC luncheon on May 19

The Peabody Media Center and the University of Georgia have named six winners of this year’s Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards for outstanding digital storytelling released in 2016. The programs use 3-D modeling, virtual reality, interactive websites, and video games to address stories covering a range of issues, from torture in prison and childhood cancer to transgender dating and identity.

In its second year, the award is the result of a partnership between Peabody and Facebook. The award is given to outstanding stories in digital spaces as judged by a group of 16 Peabody honor student fellows, under the guidance of the Peabody Awards program, based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, will host the Futures of Media Awards.

“This year’s winners push the boundaries of how digital storytelling can be done in extremely compelling and innovative ways,” said Jeffrey Jones, director of the Peabody Awards and Peabody Media Center. “It is exciting to see the new possibilities for bringing meaningful stories to light through the ever-changing affordances of digital technologies, and we are happy to recognize what we see as the best stories being told on these platforms.”

The winners will be celebrated at a luncheon on May 19 at Hotel Eventi in New York City. Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, will serve as host for the event, which will be streamed via Facebook Live.

Brown has nearly 20 years of experience in journalism, most recently as an award-winning anchor and correspondent for NBC News and CNN. At CNN, she anchored a weekday primetime news program from 2007-2010 focusing on politics. During her 11-year tenure with NBC, she co-anchored the weekend edition of “TODAY” from 2003-2007 and served as White House correspondent during President George W. Bush’s first term.

The 2016 Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards are (in alpha order by category):


“Doctors and Sex Abuse” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Multimedia, creative graphics, and an intuitive interface explore an investigation into doctors and sexual abuse, setting a new standard for a traditional medium that is increasingly shifting into digital spaces.


“Saydnaya” (Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture)

Architectural and acoustic modeling provide an unprecedented look—and feel—inside an infamous torture prison in northern Syria while raising awareness in an attempt to end the brutal practice.

The inaugural "Peabody Facebook Futures of Media" awards were presented May 20, 2016, at the Paley Center. The awards, chosen by the Peabody Student Honor Board, recognized excellence in digital media storytelling. (Photo/Sarah E. Freeman/Grady College, in New York City, Georgia, on Friday, May 20, 2016)
The Futures of Media Awards are selected by the Peabody Student Honor Board, pictured here at last year’s ceremony.


“Phallaina” (Small Bang Studio, France Télévisions Nouvelles Ecritures, and Oikos Agency)

A unique interpretation of the graphic novel that seamlessly transfers an old art form into digital space through parallax scrolling, mind-bending panel transitions, and creative sound design.


“That Dragon, Cancer (Numinous Games)

The true, tragic story of a 4-year-old’s lifelong battle with the disease told in a beautifully poetic gameplay environment. Archival voice recordings and interactive exploration guide players through artful reinterpretations of real events for a lesson in empathy and strength.


“Pearl” (Google Spotlight Stories with Evil Eye Pictures)

Using innovative 360-degree format and animation, viewers are fully immersed into the heartwarming story—and theme song—of a father-daughter duo chasing their dreams as told from the perspective of their car.


“Her Story” (Speed of Joy)

An illuminating web series with narrative weight usually reserved for lengthier formats, “Her Story” follows two trans women navigating relationships and identity in Los Angeles. The result is in an important reframing of trans representation in media.

About 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.

Date: May 1, 2017
Author:  Margaret Blanchard,