Dan Rather, TV Rain honored with Peabody Awards

Peabody announced that Dan Rather, the award-winning journalist whose career has spanned six decades, has won the Peabody Career Achievement Award.  Dolly Parton presented Rather with the honor via video.

The University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has been the home of Peabody since its founding in 1940.

Rather, who has interviewed every president since Eisenhower, was the CBS national evening news anchor from 1981-2006. Rather is being recognized for his commitment to helping Americans understand the events of the nation and the world for over six decades. Selected by the Peabody Board of Jurors, this honor is reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to broadcasting and digital media have left an indelible mark on the field and in American culture. Rather joins Carol Burnett, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson, and Sam Pollard as winners of the Peabody Career Achievement Award.

“Dan Rather’s remarkable career—from local news reporter and international correspondent to network anchor—is a textbook example not just of what quality reporting looks like, but how journalists serve democracy well,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of the Peabody Awards. “Spanning over six decades, Rather helped viewers understand and interpret some of the most traumatic historical events in our nation’s history, from the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War to 9/11 and more. We are happy to call attention to and celebrate his life’s work.”

It was also announced today that TV Rain (known in Russian as Dozhd) was recognized with the Peabody Journalistic Integrity Award, which honors the sustained achievement of the highest professional standards of journalism, as well as personal integrity in reporting the news in challenging times. TV Rain was Russia’s last independent television channel before it was shut down in March 2022 for its criticism of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Its final broadcast was a blatant protest, with the entire staff walking off the set as the anchors said “no war.”

The Peabody Board of Jurors also made a special commendation to the journalists and filmmakers from around the world, including Peabody-winning documentarian Brent Renaud, who have risked their lives and died covering the violence and humanitarian crises in Ukraine. “We honor these courageous storytellers killed in their line of duty to bring the truth to the world, not just in Ukraine, but in India, Mexico, the Philippines, and globally,” noted Jones.

Dan Rather began his career in print and radio in Houston before landing a job at KHOU-TV, Houston’s local CBS’s affiliate, in 1960. He went on to become a national network correspondent and later CBS’s White House correspondent. Rather became the CBS evening news anchor in 1981, holding the position until 2006. During his time on air at CBS, Rather reported on and guided the nation through Kennedy’s assassination, the war in Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, the Cold War, and 9/11. After leaving CBS, he hosted Dan Rather Reports for HDNet and The Big Interview on AXS TV. Rather currently serves as President and CEO of News and Guts, an independent production company that he founded to make high-quality, non-fiction content across traditional and digital platforms. Over the course of his career, Rather has won multiple Peabody Awards and numerous Emmy Awards.

Natalya Sindeyeva founded TV Rain in 2010 as an independent television channel. After the channel was banned from cable in 2014, it moved to an online broadcast. TV Rain has reported on the Russia-Ukraine conflict since its beginning, prompting the Russian justice ministry to declare it a “foreign agent” in 2021. TV Rain continued to report on the activities of the Kremlin, until the Russian telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor blocked access to the channel because of its critical reporting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For its final broadcast, the entire TV Rain staff gathered on air at the news desk before walking off set, with the anchors saying “no war” as they exited. The broadcast then cut to a performance of Swan Lake, in reference to when Russian news channels played the ballet during the August 1991 Russian coup after they were banned from live coverage of the event.

The 30 winners of the 82nd Annual Peabody Awards will be named during a multi-day virtual celebration from June 6th through June 9th.

Peabody Awards Names 30 Winners Representing the Very Best in Storytelling

Today the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors unveiled all 30 programs representing the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media during 2020. Of the 30 winners, PBS led with five, followed by Netflix with four, HBO with three, and Amazon, Apple TV+, and Showtime each with two. Additional winning platforms include ABC, The Atlantic, CBS, Disney Channel, ITV, KING 5, KNXV-TV, MTV, Nashville Public Radio, National Geographic, Shudder, and The Washington Post.

“Whether documenting the horrors and struggles of COVID-19, amplifying critical discussions around police brutality, or simply entertaining us with heartfelt stories about our shared humanity, the Peabody 30 winners represent the very best in compelling storytelling.” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “Spanning mediums and genres, they told urgent and powerful stories despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic and an often relentless hostility towards the press. It is an honor to celebrate their fantastic work.”

The Peabody 30 are the best of over 1,300 entries submitted from television, podcasts/radio and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and multimedia programming. Chosen unanimously by a board of 19 jurors, the winning programs this year covered numerous pressing issues, including COVID-19, voting rights, police violence, immigrant rights, and economic justice. News programs earned 8 wins this year. PBS NewsHour won for its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, while Hao Wu’s brilliant documentary 76 Days won for capturing the early struggles of the battle against COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. Several news winners, including “Post Reports: The Life of George Floyd” and KING 5’s “Facing Race” covered the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd and the surrounding conversations regarding racial inequality. And several winners, including Netflix’s Immigration Nation and PBS NewsHour’s “Desperate Journey,” highlighted the plight of immigrants and migrants. Entertainment winners like HBO’s “I May Destroy You” and Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” were artistically evocative stories of complex individuality and human connection.

The 30 winners of the 81st annual Peabody Awards were named during a multi-day virtual celebration from June 21st through June 24th. Video announcements and acceptances are available at: https://peabodyawards.com/2021-acceptance-videos/. The full list of winners is below. Celebrity presenters announced each winner via a short video which included remarks from the winners. The winners were announced on Twitter (@PeabodyAwards); Instagram (@PeabodyAwards); Facebook (Peabody Awards) and online at https://peabodyawards.com/.

The organization previously announced Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY as an Institutional Award winner. This distinctive honor recognizes institutions and organizations, as well as series and programs, for their enduring body of work and their iconic impact on both the media landscape and the public imagination. Sam Pollard was also named winner of the Peabody Career Achievement Award. Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, won the Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity. Peabody also made a special commendation in recognition of Journalism Crews for their work in 2020 amidst unprecedented challenges. In addition to working through the most dangerous public health crisis in a century, they braved hostile rhetorical and physical attacks during a presidential election where the press was deemed “enemies of the people.”

The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

To view presenter and acceptance speeches after they are announced, please visit: https://peabodyawards.com/2021-acceptance-videos/

Entertainment

“Small Axe” (Amazon Studios) Presented by Cynthia Erivo to Steve McQueen

Documentary

“The Cave” (NatGeo) Presented by Soledad O’Brien

“Welcome to Chechnya” (HBO) Presented by Ronan Farrow

News

“ABC News 20/20: Breonna Taylor” (ABC) Presented by Taraji P. Henson to Michael Strahan and Deborah Roberts

“PBS NewsHour: Desperate Journey” (PBS) Presented by America Ferrera

Podcast/Radio

“The Promise: Season 2” (Nashville Public Radio) presented by John Seigenthaler

Public Service

“Cops and Robbers” (Netflix) Presented by Karl-Anthony Towns

Children’s & Youth

“Stillwater” (Apple TV+) Presented by Goldie Hawn

INSTITUTIONAL WINNER

ARRAY

Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is as much a center for disruptive institutional and narrative change as it is a production house. Indeed, its creative campus in Filipinotown, Los Angeles is itself a rejection of antiquated Hollywood thinking, not just in foregrounding absent voices and missing representations in front of and behind the camera by people of color and women, but in reimagining how projects are greenlit, created, produced, and distributed, and by whom. In ten short years, ARRAY has built the institutional infrastructure to produce award-winning content. Yet ARRAY is also deeply invested in the social impact of its work, creating educational and learning materials for much of its content. It’s easy to see that DuVernay and her women-led team at ARRAY have not waited for permission to build, create, grow, and envision a different and more equitable future for neglected filmmakers, artists, and social activists. Through brilliant visioning and old-fashioned sweat equity, ARRAY has crafted a new way forward in an industry heavily resistant to change.

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Sam Pollard

A renowned editor, director and producer across film and television, Sam Pollard’s remarkable work critically conveys the historical reach of anti-Blackness, racial injustice and the enduring power of black freedom struggles. With tremendous insight and sensitivity, he mines the rich archives of African American life and culture portraying indomitable stories of struggle and determination. In the process he elevates the ordinary, stresses the pleasures, care, and compassion of Black people and ultimately serves as our guide to the power of Black freedom dreams. A Professor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Pollard’s mentorship and teaching of a new generation of documentary storytellers continues his impact in the field and in the world. With his indomitable energy and insatiable curiosity, his generosity as a colleague, mentor, collaborator, his acute sensitivity to the complex modalities of black life and his undying commitment to social justice, Pollard is a virtuoso who continues to identify, document, curate and shape some of the most important and enduring stories that matter.

PEABODY AWARD FOR JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY

Judy Woodruff

With an award-winning career that spans more than five decades, Judy Woodruff, the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, represents the best of television news and is one of the most trusted broadcast journalists in America. In a world where “opinion” programs and personalities often dominate the media landscape, Woodruff has earned her reputation for delivering unbiased, fact-based news stories without the hype. From the beginning of her career, Woodruff rose quickly through the ranks of TV newsrooms, from local Atlanta television news to NBC to CNN to PBS. In 2016, Woodruff became the sole anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. Throughout her career, Woodruff has been an outspoken advocate of the First Amendment, upholding the importance of a free and unfettered press as critical to the survival of our democracy. Never has that been more critical—never has journalistic integrity been more critical—than where we find ourselves today. For her extraordinary contributions to American television, for her groundbreaking work, and for her commitment to telling us the truth, the Board of Jurors is proud to salute Judy Woodruff with the first-ever Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity.

ENTERTAINMENT

“I May Destroy You”

One of the year’s most critically-acclaimed series is the provocative brainchild of British screenwriter, director, producer, and actor, Michaela Coel. The story centers on her character Arabella, who awakens from a night on the town with fragmented memories of having been sexually assaulted. With a compelling narrative that mirrors the structural rhythms of psychological trauma, the show defines the emergent subgenre of consent drama and takes center stage in a developing cultural conversation around complex issues of sexuality and consent, freedom and abuse, friendship and trust.

HBO in association with BBC, Various Artists Limited, and FALKNA (HBO)

“La Llorona”

Jayme Bustamante’s reworking of that well-known Latin American folk tale about a weeping woman relies on the lyrical potential of the ghost story genre. The power of this gripping film is its inventive approach to visualizing the pains of a nation’s collective memory. It is a quietly powerful indictment of justice delayed and a visceral embodiment of accountability politics that rightly centers Guatemala’s indigenous population.

La Casa de Producción (Shudder)

“Small Axe”

This anthology series by Steve McQueen focuses on Black West Indian immigrant stories in post-war Britain. It honors the sacrifices made, hardships endured, culture asserted, and battles fought—the small and large acts of courage and confidence—all for the dreams of possibility and becoming. Portrayed through the poetics and intimacies of everyday life, the richness of culture and music, and the collective power of social movement and political action, Small Axe is a stunning emotional testament, offered as both political prism and intellectual history.

BBC Studios Americas, Inc. and Amazon Studios (Amazon Studios)

“Ted Lasso”

What this presumably Ugly American, fish-out-of-water tale offers us is a charming dose of radical optimism, with an equally endearing Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso. It turns out that more than simply a sports coach, Ted is remarkably good at honest communication with others, affecting change by being a deeply good human, one with his own quiet anxieties and pain. The Apple TV+ series is the perfect counter to the enduring prevalence of toxic masculinity, both on-screen and off, in a moment when the nation truly needs inspiring models of kindness.

Apple / Doozer Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television (Apple TV+)

“The Good Lord Bird”

Part fiction, part history, and part dramatic satire, this Showtime limited series boldly yet humorously examines the enigmatic abolitionist John Brown. With Ethan Hawke’s rich and complex portrayal of a madman who would become a martyr, Brown’s competing legacies are given ample room to coexist. The miniseries can’t help but follow in his wake and give us an irreverent history lesson that feels fresh and pressing for our times.

Showtime Presents Blumhouse Television, Mark 924 Entertainment, Under the Influence Productions (Showtime)

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

With filming restrictions in place, Stephen Colbert decided to move production of his CBS Late Show to his home outside of Charleston, a remarkably successful transformation of the late-night television model by a host inviting us into his home, rather than his typical comforting presence in our living rooms and bedrooms. Amidst suffering in a global pandemic, a public fed up with police violence against African Americans, and a morally contemptuous president fighting for his political life, Colbert’s kindness, gentle spirit, and deeply felt ethical nature provided a nightly salve the nation desperately needed.

CBS Studios (CBS)

“Unorthodox”

A riveting thriller, the series takes a hard look at how a religious community enforces strict gender roles to maintain its identity no matter the human cost. With the raw and authentic Shira Haas as Esty, Unorthodox merges a stark portrayal of religious oppression with a coming-of-age story that resonates with gritty, desperate innocence.

Studio Airlift and RealFilm for Netflix (Netflix)

DOCUMENTARIES

“76 Days”      

This is a hopeful film that does more than just document the beginning of the global pandemic in the lockdown period of Wuhan, China—the city in which cases of the coronavirus were first reported. It is a film about resilience, compassion, empathy, improvisation, the power of human touch and caring hearts as much as it is about panic, suffering, and indiscriminate victims. Using a direct cinema technique across four hospitals, the film captures frontline workers and the sick and dying while eschewing the story of politics and government action and statistics.

76 Days LLC / MTV Documentary Films

“Asian Americans”

Renee Tajima-Peña’s five-part documentary series places Asian communities at the center of debates about belonging and citizenship in America. The series asks us to consider who gets to be at the center of these American stories, offering the requisite national, ethnic, religious, political, linguistic, and cultural diversity that make up Asian American communities across the country today. In turn, we move beyond a singular representative testimony and bear witness to varying, complex, and touching portraits of individuals, identities, enclaves, and movements, collectively born in the face of tragedy and in spite of the burdens of trauma.

CAAM, WETA, Flash Cuts, LLC., Tajima-Peña Productions, ITVS (PBS)

“Collective”

In the aftermath of a nightclub fire in Bucharest, the survivors suffering from non-life threatening burn injuries mysteriously begin dying. Journalists from the Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper probe into why, and their enterprising investigation, supported by key whistleblowers, is captured by director Alexander Nanau’s intimate and breathtaking cinema vérité film. What unfolds is a staggering exposure of official corruption that reaches from the highest levels of government and infects the entire health care system.

Alexander Nanau Production, Samsa Film HBO Europe (HBO Europe)

“Crip Camp”

Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht’s film features a group of summer campers who first met at Camp Jened in upstate New York in the early 1970s and went on to become key players and activists in the Disability Rights Movement in the U.S. With an unapologetic spirit and a welcome cheekiness found in its archival footage, the documentary gives us a glimpse into the warmth of the teenagers’ discovery of independence, romance, and themselves, while also offering an inspiring history of a space where people found the strength and the sense of community to take on a fight to change the very world around us.

A Higher Ground and Rusted Spoke Production in association with Little Punk / JustFilms / Ford Foundation for Netflix (Netflix)

“Immigration Nation”

Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz’s six-part documentary on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency shows how bureaucrats and officers working across different, seemingly unconnected domains make up a complex and terrorizing system. With rare access to detention facilities, ICE agents on duty, immigrant families, and lawyers and activists, the filmmakers reveal how individual and collective justifications of “we are just doing our job” rationalize a punishing system.

A Reel Peak Films Production for Netflix (Netflix)

“The Cave”

Director Feras Fayyad’s astonishing documentary tells the story of a subterranean network of tunnels that function as a hospital in Syria, where the besieged residents of war-torn Al-Ghouta come for relatively safe medical care. Most are greeted by Dr. Amani Ballour, a female doctor in her late 20s, who serves as the hospital’s managing physician. The hospital endures everything from the constant fear of daily bombing raids to the heartbreak of children suffocating in war-crime chemical attacks. These haunting and harrowing images are necessary cries for help for these seemingly forgotten victims.

A Danish Documentary Production, in Co-Production with Ma.Ja.De Hecat Studio Paris Madam Films for National Geographic Documentary Films (National Geographic)

“Time”

This remarkable story of love and the impact of incarceration on a family is detailed through the multiple, often elusive registers of time—slow time, long time, happy time, missed time, hopeful time, and arrested time. In this brilliantly conceived, beautifully realized, and brutally honest chronicle, we travel with Fox Rich and her family toward her husband’s release and their collective freedom. Carefully building and then mining the archive of family memories, home movies, prison visits, high school and college graduations, filmmaker Garrett Bradley proffers viewers the power of dreams and the struggle to shape and sustain love and life across the divides of incarceration.

Concordia Studio, GB Feature, LLC and Amazon Studios (Amazon Studios)

“Welcome to Chechnya”

Filmed in secret with the use of hidden cameras and cell phones, David France’s documentary details the brutal ongoing purge of LGBTQ Chechens in the closed Russian republic by a government-directed system of abduction, torture, and execution. The film follows undercover activists who risk their own safety to deliver rescued victims to safe houses and provide visa assistance for their refuge. The film employs innovative techniques of artificial intelligence and facial replacement visual effects to protect the identities of the subjects while delivering a harrowing story of ruthless persecution, audacious courage, and human survival.

Public Square Films, Ninety Thousand Words, Maylo Films, BBC Storyville and HBO Documentary Films (HBO)

PODCAST/RADIO

“Floodlines”

This captivating podcast is a comprehensive story of Hurricane Katrina and its social, cultural, psychological, political, economic, and environmental aftermath and impact. From the national media’s ready-made criminalization of Black residents and their worthiness to be rescued, to the insensitive early response of national government officials, Floodlines also asks us to consider what happens to place, home, relationships, and community when politics, incompetence, and indifference are at the core of how we regard each other.

The Atlantic (theatlantic.com; podcast platforms)

“Post Reports: The Life of George Floyd”

George Floyd’s death ignited a global movement to end the plague of state violence against African Americans. Rather than focus on his death, The Washington Post sought to answer a simple but enlightening question: “What about his life?” Rather than a straightforward biography, their special podcast episode offers a more expansive view of Floyd’s life, keenly laying out how systemic racism operates across many institutions, creating sharply disparate outcomes in housing, education, the economy, law enforcement, and health care. The Post Reports team sketches a moving portrait of a man and of a nation, one that feels all the more archetypal for its familiar trappings.

The Washington Post (washingtonpost.com; podcast platforms)

“The Promise: Season 2”

Host Meribah Knight examines Warner Elementary, one of the most racially and economically lopsided schools in Nashville, especially when compared with the high-performing, almost all-white school just one mile away. Taking aim at nice, well-meaning white parents in an increasingly gentrified neighborhood, season 2 of The Promise chronicles the decades-long fight against desegregation as well as Warner’s uphill battle to turn itself around. The podcast carefully lays out how the current school system is inherently dependent on the resources white households provide, both creating and perpetuating systemic inequality in the process that most affects Black students.

Nashville Public Radio (Nashville Public Radio)

NEWS

“ABC News 20/20 in collaboration with The Courier Journal: Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor”

ABC News 20/20 and The Courier Journal’s two-hour documentary special presents a holistic picture of the events that led to the police killing of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020. Tracing the botched police investigations and operation that resulted in officers arriving at Taylor’s apartment building, this report is a lucid investigation that goes for the granular without losing sight of the systemic and structural fissures that led to her death. Exhaustive forensic reporting paints Taylor as more than the symbol she’s become, yet also reminds us why this case symbolizes how the demands for justice and police reform are so necessary.

ABC News 20/20 + Courier Journal (ABC)

“China Undercover”

This documentary uncovers the story of China’s arresting an estimated two million Uyghur Muslims and putting them in concentration camps—what experts says is the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic group since the Holocaust. But the report also makes the case that this is a massive experiment in developing the most complete surveillance state in history, as the government employs technologies such as advanced algorithmic facial recognition software and houses marked with digital barcodes to monitor and ultimately detain Muslims whose behavior is “predicted” as threatening.

FRONTLINE (PBS / GBH)

“Full Disclosure”

Digging into Arizona’s “Brady list,” a system designed to track police officers with histories of lying and committing crimes in hopes of keeping police accountable, this hour-long special from ABC15 Arizona offers a stark portrait not only of why the system is broken, but why it has never been fixed. The yearlong investigation, with exhaustive reporting and damning video footage, demonstrates how law enforcement agencies rarely adhere to their own legal standards in keeping and disseminating such misconduct reports.

KNXV-TV ABC15 (KNXV-TV)

“Muslim in Trump’s America (Exposure)”

In this rigorously reported film that chronicles the dangerous climate created around Muslims and other groups targeted during Trump’s presidency, director Deeyah Khan investigates the connection between rising hate crimes and state-sponsored racism with stories of those at the center of the storm: the downward spiral of a Kansas farmer serving 30 years for an anti-Muslim bomb plot; the conspiracy-filled world of right wing, armed militia who believe that Islam is infiltrating the United States; the painful reality of Muslims whose loved ones were hunted and killed by white supremacists; and the complex duties of embattled lawmakers such as Minnesota’s Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

Fuuse Films (ITV)

“PBS NewsHour: Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Relentless and comprehensive reporting from PBS NewsHour gave us the best news coverage of a once-in-a-century global pandemic. Their work on “Global Pandemic” covered the pandemic’s human toll on five continents, in countries already hit hard by war, famine, and death. In the United States, “Making Sense: The Victims of COVID” put a spotlight on the millions who lost their jobs, the devastating impact on restaurants, and the near shutdown of the travel industry, while shedding new light on how the pandemic revealed and exacerbated astonishing racial disparities in American health outcomes.

PBS NewsHour (PBS)

“PBS NewsHour: Desperate Journey”

The plight of migrants and refugees is often fraught with danger, but the Darien Gap, a treacherous and lawless 66-mile trail through the wilderness on the border of Columbia and Panama, might be the most dangerous path to freedom on the planet. PBS special correspondent Nadja Drost and videographer Bruno Federico put themselves at great risk to join this caravan. What could be more consequential in helping viewers to understand the desperation of these migrants than the image of them stepping over the skeletal remains of those who have gone before them and failed?

PBS NewsHour (PBS)

“VICE on Showtime: Losing Ground”

Correspondent Alzo Slade explores how a little-known type of ownership known as “heirs property” leaves African Americans especially vulnerable to losing their property to unscrupulous developers through arcane and ethically questionable legal mechanisms. The abstract maneuvers occur in piecemeal, hard-to-follow fashion, but the cumulative result is that entire families are displaced and inheritances lost. Losing Ground dramatizes how the law so often favors the ruthless and illuminates a dark side of American property rights.

VICE News (Showtime)

“Whose Vote Counts”

From the legal battles over primary election absentee ballots to how the pandemic would exacerbate unfounded concerns over “rampant voter fraud” in November, Whose Vote Counts presents a clear breakdown of the way racial inequities, COVID-19, and voter suppression became interlinked crises in 2020. In collaboration with Columbia Journalism Investigations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA Today, the team at FRONTLINE and writer Jelani Cobb offer a probing and thorough investigation into the simple question of the piece’s title.

FRONTLINE, Columbia Journalism Investigations, USA Today Network (PBS / GBH)

CHILDREN’S & YOUTH

“Stillwater”

Designed to get its young audience to embrace mindfulness, empathy, and kindness, and to rejoice in the chance to rejoice in the quiet wonders of the world around them, Stillwater is a calm and soothing balm in the typically frenetic world of children’s television. Its essence is best captured by the patience of voice actor James Sie, who makes the titular character as much a role model for kids as for those parents watching. Structured around a number of parables told by the affable panda bear to his three young neighbors, every episode feels like an engrossing painting come to life that demands you slow down and take care to relish its every brushstroke.

Apple / Scholastic Entertainment / Gaumont (Apple TV+)

“The Owl House”

Alice in Wonderland. Dorothy in Oz. Coraline in Other World. To that list we should now add: Luz in Boiling Isles. Luz crosses a mysterious threshold and finds herself in a magical, colorful land where she finds both the strength and the support group she needs to become who she’s meant to be. The Dana Terrace-created animated series builds a wildly inventive other world that makes room for everyone and gives queer kids a welcome template alongside which to explore their own budding creative energies.

Disney Television Animation (Disney Channel)

PUBLIC SERVICE

“Cops and Robbers”

Timothy Ware-Hill and Arnon Manor’s animated short film, derived from the Ware-Hill poem, evokes the  make-believe childhood game that rings quite differently for young Black kids, whose interactions with police officers do not make for such lighthearted play. Ruminating on his younger years, Ware-Hill paints a portrait of the innocence young Black boys like him are seldom afforded. But if the poem centers on his singular memories, the animated visuals that accompany this piece—produced by 30 individual artists, students and VFX companies from around the world—encompass many distinct animated styles, speaking to the shared, lived experience of many.

Chemical Soup, Lawrence Bender Productions, Netflix (Netflix)

“Facing Race”

This audacious series tackles the deep-rooted subject of racial inequality, racism, racial privilege, and the systematic ways in which race structures and impacts the public and personal life of Seattle residents. From criminal justice to health disparities, environmental racism to land policy ramifications for Native American communities, the reporting team covers the magnitude and depth of the story sensitively yet critically. In particular, the series is attentive as well to the powerful emotional and psychological impact of racism and racial trauma, particularly among parents, trans-racial adoptees, and multiracial youth.

KING 5 (KING-TV)

FULL WINNERS LIST (CONSOLIDATED)

Institutional Winner

ARRAY

Career Achievement Award

Sam Pollard

Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity

Judy Woodruff

Entertainment

“I May Destroy You” (HBO)

“La Llorona” (Shudder)

“Small Axe” (Amazon Studios)

“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)

“The Good Lord Bird” (Showtime)

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS)

“Unorthodox” (Netflix)

Documentary

“76 Days” (MTV Documentary Films)

“Asian Americans” (PBS)

“Collective” (HBO Europe)

“Crip Camp” (Netflix)

“Immigration Nation” (Netflix)

“The Cave” (National Geographic)

“Time” (Amazon Studios)

“Welcome to Chechnya” (HBO)

Podcast/Radio

“Floodlines” (The Atlantic)

“Post Reports: The Life of George Floyd” (The Washington Post)

“The Promise: Season 2” (Nashville Public Radio)

News

“ABC News 20/20 in collaboration with The Courier Journal: Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor” (ABC)

“China Undercover” (PBS / GBH)

“Full Disclosure” (KNXV-TV)

“Muslim in Trump’s America (Exposure)” (ITV)

“PBS NewsHour: Coverage of the COVID-19 Coverage Pandemic” (PBS)

“PBS NewsHour: Desperate Journey” (PBS)

“VICE on Showtime: Losing Ground” (Showtime)

“Whose Vote Counts” (PBS / GBH)

Children’s & Youth

“Stillwater” (Apple TV+)

“The Owl House” (Disney Channel)

Public Service

“Cops and Robbers” (Netflix)

“Facing Race” (KING-TV)

 

Sam Pollard receives Peabody Career Achievement Award

Presented by Raoul Peck, Pollard Honored for Thirty Years of Remarkable Accomplishments

as a Filmmaker

Peabody today announced that Sam Pollard, documentary producer/director and feature film and television editor, has won the Peabody Career Achievement Award.

The honor is reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to broadcasting and digital media have left an indelible mark on the field and in American culture. Raoul Peck presented Pollard with the honor this morning via video. Pollard has spent over thirty years chronicling the Black experience and illuminating complicated historical figures across film and television.

Raoul Peck Presents Sam Pollard with the Peabody Career Achievement Award from Peabody Awards on Vimeo.

“Over the course of his storied career, the multi-hyphenate editor-producer-director-writer has demonstrated a masterful command of so many facets of filmmaking,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody. “Whether evaluating prominent Black historical figures or documenting the persistent state of racial inequality in America, Pollard has approached each project not only as an expert filmmaker, but also as a conscientious journalist and virtuosic historian.”

Between 1990 and 2010, Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee’s most beloved films: Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Girl 6, Clockers, and Bamboozled. Pollard and Lee also co-produced a number of documentary productions, including Four Little Girls, their Academy Award-nominated film about the 1963 Birmingham church bombings, and When The Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the HBO film about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that won numerous awards, including a Peabody Award and three Emmy Awards.

Pollard’s work as director and producer includes the landmark series Eyes on the Prize II on the history of the Civil Rights movement (1990); Slavery By Another Name, a PBS documentary that was in competition at the Sundance Festival (2012); August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand for American Masters (2015), and Two Trains Runnin’ (2016). Pollard’s directorial work includes Sammy Davis Jr., I’ve Gotta Be Me (2017); Mr. Soul! (co-directed in 2018); the six-part Discovery Channel series “Why We Hate” (co-directed in 2019); and most recently, the critically-acclaimed MLK/FBI (2020); Black Art: In the Absence of Light (2021); and the HBO series Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children (2020), which was nominated for a Peabody Award this year. He is Professor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

The Peabody Board of Jurors noted, “Sam Pollock’s remarkable work critically conveys the historical reach of anti-Blackness, racial injustice, and the enduring power of black freedom struggles. With tremendous insight and sensitivity he mines the rich archives of African American life and culture portraying indomitable stories of struggle and determination.  In the process he elevates the ordinary, stresses the pleasures, care, and compassion of Black people and ultimately serves as our guide to the power of Black freedom dreams.”

Peabody Awards partners with PBS for documentary roundtable discussion

The Peabody Awards has partnered with PBS for a roundtable special featuring the filmmakers of this year’s 10 Peabody documentary winners. The co-production, “Peabody Presents: Best in Documentary,” will celebrate the films while encouraging in-depth discussion around the social issues they address. Earlier this month, Peabody announced its 30 winners, a collection of stories that capture society’s most important issues.

Tabitha Jackson, director of the Sundance Film Festival, will moderate panels around social issues including African American Justice and Dignity; Scientific Frontiers; Authoritarianism and Threats to Democracy; and Families in Global Conflict Zones. Documentarians will discuss how their films address these issues, and clips from the winning programs will be used to provide further context.

The 60-minute special will premiere on June 23 at 8 p.m. ET across PBS digital platforms, including PBS’ primary YouTube channel and Facebook, as well as station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and PBS Video App available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV and Chromecast. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

“The subjects of each of this year’s winners could not be more pressing and timely for both the American public and the media and entertainment industry to take up and examine,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody. “It is a privilege to hear such powerful voices and to give viewers a much closer look at the artistic vision bringing these stories to light.”

“Telling stories that help to elevate diverse perspectives and deepen understanding is at the core of PBS’ mission,” said Perry Simon, chief programming executive and general manager of general audience programming at PBS. “PBS is proud to partner with The Peabody Awards to help foster a public dialogue around the complex issues raised in these award-winning films that are both timely and relevant.”

Featured panels include:

African American Justice and Dignity

RaMell Ross, INDEPENDENT LENS “Hale County This Morning, This Evening”

A brilliant articulation of place marked by the intimately beautiful yet quotidian dimensions of black lives in Alabama, the film is a welcome window into the spirit of African Americans far too rarely represented in film and media.

dream hampton, “Surviving R. Kelly”      

This explosive six-part series, based on interviews with women who survived alleged sexual abuse from R&B superstar R. Kelly, chronicles the complicity of a music industry and fans who turned a blind eye to multiple allegations as the singer rose to staggering heights of fame. The result is a powerful exploration of celebrity, the double standard of justice around gender and race, and how speaking truth can effect change.

Trey Ellis, “True Justice: Bryan’s Stevenson’s Fight for Equality”

A profile of attorney Bryan Stevenson and his work at the Equal Justice Initiative seeking justice for the incarcerated poor and death row inmates in Alabama and the South, the film offers a searing indictment of the court system and helps viewers see how the U.S. Supreme Court is historically and directly accountable for sustaining racial violence, white supremacy and the exploitation of black people through the trajectory of decisions that leads from enslavement to lynching to the death penalty.

Scientific Frontiers

Todd Douglas Miller, “Apollo 11”

Comprised entirely and masterfully of archival materials, “Apollo 11” is a reminder of a time when America celebrated scientific accomplishment and engineers, test pilots, human “computers” and government agencies collaborated to pull off something that had never been done. With previously unreleased 70 mm film footage and audio files, reproduced here without talking heads or authoritative narration, this compelling documentary makes NASA’s first moon landing present and visceral for a new generation.

Laura Nix, POV “Inventing Tomorrow”

An inspiring profile of six amazing teenage scientists from around the world serves not only as a celebration of science, of knowledge and of sheer ingenuity, but as a celebration of young people working to solve the problems given to them by prior generations.

Authoritarianism and Threats to Democracy

Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar, POV “The Silence of Others”

A stunning reflection on fascism, memory and forgetting by documenting the struggle of victims seeking legal redress for torture and other human rights abuses committed during Spain’s Gen. Franco’s dictatorial reign. The film serves as a cautionary tale of fascism, its enduring wounds and enduring presence.

Petra Costa, “The Edge of Democracy”

Telling the epic tragedy of what happened in Brazil, from Lula to Bolsonaro, this film commandingly and chillingly shows how precarious a democracy can be.

Families in Global Conflict Zones 

Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts, FRONTLINE “For Sama

In the painful and poetic testament that is “For Sama,” Waad Al-Kateab wrestles with why she and her husband remain in besieged Aleppo to help run a hospital, as the choice to flee is much more wrenching than one might imagine, and the choice to stay is equally confounding, yet understandable. We have all seen the war in Syria in countless news reports, but we have not seen it like this.

Hassan Fazili, POV “Midnight Traveler”

Filmed on phones, this autobiographical account of his refugee family’s journey from Afghanistan to Hungary is an arresting and deeply moving testament to the power of parenting through trauma. It offers a remarkably rare and valuable humanizing picture of the everyday life of a refugee family, while also stopping at points to consider the ethics of filming such a story.

Simon Lereng Wilmont, POV “The Distant Barking of Dogs”

This beautiful, moving and nuanced documentary chronicles life in a war zone through the eyes of a child. The story of an Eastern Ukrainian boy and his fiercely devoted grandmother pits the harsh realities of war against the innocence of childhood in a gracefully edited collection of cinéma vérité moments.

Peabody Awards names 30 winners representing best storytelling

The Peabody Awards has named 30 programs as the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during 2019. The organization also announced “FRONTLINE” and “The Simpsons” as recipients of Institutional Awards. This distinctive honor goes to programs that have made a significant impact on media programming and the cultural landscape. Cicely Tyson was named winner of the Peabody Career Achievement Award on Monday.

The Peabody 30 are the best of nearly 1,300 entries submitted from television, radio/podcasts, and the web across the genres of entertainment, news, documentary, children’s and public service programming. All winners are chosen unanimously by a board of 19 jurors. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

“This year’s winners are a vibrant collective of inspiring, innovative, and powerful stories. True to the spirit and legacy of Peabody, our winners are also distinguished by the presence and resilience of many emerging and diverse voices,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody.

“We are especially proud to celebrate ‘FRONTLINE’ as an unwavering source for truth through quality journalism when both are actively under attack, and ‘The Simpsons,’ one of the most consistently funny and culturally important satirical sitcoms over the last three decades.”

Of the 30 winners, PBS leads with seven, followed by HBO and Netflix with four each; and CNN and NBC with two. First-time winners, AppleTV+ and OWN, join Amazon Prime, Lifetime, and Hulu with one award each. Additional winning platforms include APM, BBC Sounds, Montana Public Radio, Newsday, WBBM Chicago, and WNYC Studios.

Peabody Awards are distinguished from other honors for the wide range of pressing social issues its winners address. Although adjudicated earlier this spring, seven out of this year’s 30 award winners squarely focus on racist policing and institutional racial problems within the criminal justice system, including the documentary “True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality”; the miniseries on the Central Park Five case, “When They See Us”; the podcast on the recently overturned Curtis Flowers case, “In The Dark: The Path Home”; and the series “Watchmen,” which provides a meditation on the long history of policing, racism, and the quest for justice. Other winners that wrestle with problematic policing include “Unbelievable,” the miniseries narrativization of how police handled two real-life yet similar rape cases; and local news and documentary pieces “Unwarranted,” on the violence of botched police raids, and “A Different Kind of Force: Policing Mental Illness,” which contrasts police using empathy versus weapons as first responders.

This year’s other winners call attention to the persistence of rape culture, the importance of belief in science, immigrant rights, environmental degradation, authoritarian threats to democracy from the past and present, and the will of families to navigate and survive in times of war and global crisis.

To highlight these important issues, Peabody is partnering with PBS on a roundtable program with all 10 directors of this year’s winning documentaries. Tabitha Jackson, director of the Sundance Film Festival, will moderate panels with filmmakers around the aforementioned issues. The program will be made available via PBS digital channels on Tuesday, June 23. More information will be released next week.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Peabody Awards Ceremony—originally slated to take place in Los Angeles for the first time on June 18—is canceled. In lieu of the live event, many recipients recorded acceptance speeches, almost all of which were recorded prior to the protests over the George Floyd killing and police brutality. Note: For media outlets that would like to use these speeches in their coverage, we ask to note the timing of when the video was recorded. Video acceptances are available at: https://bit.ly/WinnerAcceptances.

 

INSTITUTIONAL WINNERS

“FRONTLINE”

PBS’s flagship investigative documentary series “FRONTLINE” was launched in 1983 by executive producer David Fanning, quickly establishing itself as the preeminent home for hard-hitting, thoughtful, and consequential journalism on television. Since then, “FRONTLINE” has won 20 Peabody Awards—including programs as varied as “Crisis in Central America” (1985), a series examining the history of U.S. involvement in Central America; “Waco: The Inside Story” (1995), a gripping account of the tragic siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Texas; and “The Facebook Dilemma” (2018), exploring how the world’s largest social media platform’s push for profits allowed for violations of user privacy, electoral interference in U.S. elections, and the spread of disinformation and hate speech worldwide.

But “FRONTLINE” has not rested on its laurels. Under the leadership of Raney Aronson-Rath, the organization has not only thrived by continuing its robust output of films (with even greater diversity of filmmakers), but also expanded its reporting and distribution channels by venturing boldly into the digital era. It has embraced new forms of investigative journalism, developing virtual reality and web-based stories (winning two Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards for digital storytelling), and launching “THE FRONTLINE DISPATCH,” an investigative podcast series.

At a time when trust in the media is challenged, when journalists are casually cast as the “enemy of the people,” and when fact-based reporting is often overshadowed by opinion and ideology masquerading as truth, Peabody honors the consistent, stalwart, and excellent journalism “FRONTLINE” offers the American public and the world.

“THE SIMPSONS”

On December 17, 1989, the clouds parted in the now-iconic opening sequence of “The Simpsons,” inviting the world into the town of Springfield for the first time. Already well known to fans of “The Tracey Ullman Show”—which ran a series of animated shorts by creator Matt Groening starting in 1987—Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie would soon rocket to international fame. “The Simpsons,” with nearly 700 full episodes to date, is now the longest-running scripted prime-time series in American television history, and likely the most globally recognized program in history.

Following a decade of earnest family sitcoms, the brash yellow splash of “The Simpsons” on TV cleared the way for a more satiric-parodic, deeply ironic mode of comedy. From the outset, the program was eager to question and rib not just the medium its viewers grew up on, but the beliefs upon which they were structured. Decades later, the effect of its witty humor and willingness to question authority is evident in similarly important comedies that followed in Homer’s four-toed path.

“The Simpsons” expanded notions of what the sitcom could be. It gifted us a wonderful family caught between the poles of father Homer’s delightful ignorance and daughter Lisa’s endearing brilliance, a family that would fumble, fight, and fail, and yet who loved each other in spite of it all. It boldly and inventively ushered animation back into primetime. And it has found ways to remain funny, fresh, and insightful while trusting and respecting its audience’s intelligence. In one episode, Homer thumps his television angrily, demanding that it “be more funny.” Peabody commends “The Simpsons” writers, animators, and cast for answering Homer’s call for 30 years.

The Peabody Award Winners, listed by category (network/platform in parentheses) are:

ENTERTAINMENT

“Chernobyl”

An unforgettable account of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster shows what happens when science is censored to the detriment of people’s lives and offers a bold testament to the humanity, courage, and suffering of ordinary citizens in extraordinary circumstances.

HBO Miniseries and SKY in association with Sister, The Mighty Mint, and Word Games (HBO)

“David Makes Man”

Tarell Alvin McCraney’s visually stunning coming-of-age drama contemplates identity as fluid, plural, restrictive, and powerful, immersing viewers in the heart-wrenching world of a gifted 14-year-old African American boy growing up in the South Florida projects.

Page Fright and Outlier Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television

(OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network)

“Dickinson”

Creator Alena Smith lovingly and playfully embraces anachronism, bringing a contemporary sense, sensibility, and soundtrack to 19th-century New England and the world of poet Emily Dickinson. Hailee Steinfeld offers a standout performance in a show that excels at being fun while crackling with energy and wild originality.

Apple / wiip / Anonymous Content / Tuning Fork Productions / Sugar 23 Productions (Apple TV+)

“Fleabag”

The enchanting show from Phoebe Waller-Bridge about a woman struggling with the death of a friend and her attraction to a hot priest pushed the creative bar to new heights in its second season, maintaining a nearly unmatched ability to be playful and devastating, hilarious and poignant, at the same time.

All3Media International Limited and Amazon Studios (Prime Video)

“Ramy”

Ramy Youssef writes and stars in this touching, thoughtful, and very funny sitcom focusing on a first-generation American Muslim and his family in New Jersey. Tracing its origins back to his stand-up routine, and also starring Hiam Abbass, Amr Waked, Laith Nakli, Mo Amer, and May Calamawy, the groundbreaking series is masterful in its weaponization of the tension between faith and secularism, East and West, and men and women.

Hulu, A24 Television (Hulu)

“Stranger Things”

Writer-producers Matt and Ross Duffer perform yet another masterful act of chemistry, mixing homages to a cavalcade of 1980s media to create a show that bubbles over with original fun and inclusiveness in its third season. Part science fiction, part horror, part government conspiracy drama, it fleet-footedly veers between modes and expectations, keeping viewers on their toes and the edge of their seats.

Monkey Massacre Productions & 21 Laps Entertainment (Netflix)

“Succession”

Jesse Armstrong’s gleeful, brainy send-up of New York City media conglomerates and one percenters revels in the dysfunction of the Roy family and its members’ outlandish antics to control the clan’s empire. Brian Cox has established himself as one of TV’s most delicious villains of all time and standouts Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, and Jeremy Strong give equally rich and complex performances.

HBO Entertainment in association with Project Zeus, Hyperobject Industries, and Gary Sanchez Productions (HBO)

“Unbelievable”

Drawing from a true story, Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman, and Michael Chabon expertly pen a rape investigation for the #MeToo era, showing not just what police work should look like, but what a mediated account of rape should entail. With standout performances from Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever, the series serves as a model for how storytellers can implore society to believe women but also how to shift the ways we talk about rape.

Timberman-Beverly Productions, Sage Lane Productions, Escapist Fare, Katie Couric Media, and CBS Television Studios for Netflix (Netflix)

“Watchmen”

Damon Lindelof’s revolutionary series provides new answers to classic comic book genre questions about what it means to mask one’s identity and who gets to be a superhero. More than that, it offers a frank, provocative reflection on contemporary racialized violence, the role of police, and how Americans understand their place in the world after a large-scale disaster.

HBO in association with White Rabbit, Paramount, Warner Bros. Television and DC (HBO)

“When They See Us”

Devastating and commanding, Ava DuVernay’s powerful miniseries about the Central Park Five case and the lives it ruined is a touchstone for its historical moment, and a powerful registry of the inhuman practices and degrading effects of 20th-century racial injustice and state violence.

Participant Media, Tribeca Productions, Harpo Films, Array Filmworks for Netflix (Netflix)

DOCUMENTARIES

“Apollo 11”

Comprised entirely, and masterfully, of archival materials, “Apollo 11” is a reminder of a time when America celebrated scientific accomplishment and engineers, test pilots, human “computers,” and government agencies collaborated to pull something off that had never been done before. With previously unreleased 70mm film footage and audio files, reproduced here without talking heads or authoritative narration, this compelling documentary makes NASA’s first moon landing present and visceral for a new generation.

CNN Films (CNN)

“For Sama”

In the painful and poetic testament that is “For Sama,” Waad al-Kateab wrestles with why she and her husband remain in besieged Aleppo to help run a hospital, as the choice to flee is much more wrenching than one might imagine and the choice to stay is equally confounding, yet understandable. We have all seen the war in Syria in countless news reports, but we have not seen it like this.

FRONTLINE PBS, Channel 4 News, ITN Productions, Channel 4 (PBS)

“Independent Lens: HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING”

In this intimate exploration of the everyday lives of African Americans in rural Alabama through artistically rendered vignettes, director RaMell Ross captures the feel, atmosphere, fiber and culture of a community rarely seen on film.

A production of Idiom Film, LLC and Louverture Films, in association with Field of Vision (PBS)

“POV: Inventing Tomorrow”

Laura Nix’s inspiring profile of six amazing teenage scientists from around the world serves not only as a celebration of science, of knowledge, and of sheer ingenuity, but as a celebration of young people working to solve the problems gifted to them by prior generations.

Fishbowl Films, Motto Pictures, 19340 Productions, Shark Island Institute, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, IQ190 Productions, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

“POV: Midnight Traveler”

Filmed on phones by Hassan Fazili, this autobiographical account of his refugee family’s journey from Afghanistan to Hungary is an arresting and deeply moving testament to the power of parenting through trauma. It offers a remarkably rare and valuable humanizing picture of the everyday life of a refugee family, while also stopping at points to consider the ethics of filming such a story.

Old Chilly Pictures LLC, American Documentary | POV, Independent Television Service (PBS)

“POV: The Distant Barking of Dogs”

Simon Lereng Wilmont’s beautiful, moving, and nuanced documentary chronicles life in a war zone through the eyes of a child. The story of an Eastern Ukrainian boy and his fiercely devoted grandmother pits the harsh realities of war against the innocence of childhood in a gracefully edited collection of cinéma vérité moments.

Final Cut for Real, Mouka Filmi, STORY, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ARTE, American Documentary | POV (PBS)

POV: The Silence of Others”

Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar offer a stunning reflection on fascism, memory and forgetting by documenting the struggle of victims seeking legal redress for torture and other human rights abuses committed during Spain’s General Franco’s dictatorial reign. The film serves as a cautionary tale of fascism, its enduring wounds, and enduring presence.

Semilla Verde Productions, Lucernam Films, American Documentary | POV, Independent Television Service, Latino Public Broadcasting, El Deseo (PBS)

“Surviving R. Kelly”

This explosive six-part series, based on interviews with women who survived alleged sexual abuse from R&B superstar R. Kelly, chronicles the complicity of a music industry and fans who turned a blind eye to multiple allegations as the singer rose to staggering heights of fame. The result is a powerful exploration of celebrity, the double standard of justice around gender and race, and how speaking truth can effect change.

Bunim/Murray Productions and Kreativ Inc. for Lifetime (Lifetime)

“The Edge of Democracy”

Telling the epic tragedy of what happened in Brazil, from Lula to Bolsonaro, this film from director Petra Costa commandingly and chillingly shows how precarious a democracy can be.

A Busca Vida Filmes Production in association with Violet Films for Netflix (Netflix)

“True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality”

A profile of attorney Bryan Stevenson and his work at the Equal Justice Initiative seeking justice for the incarcerated poor and death row inmates in Alabama and the South, the film offers a searing indictment of the court system, and helps viewers see how the U.S. Supreme Court is historically and directly accountable for sustaining racial violence, white supremacy, and the exploitation of black people through the trajectory of decisions that leads from enslavement to lynching to the death penalty.

HBO Documentary Films and Kunhardt Films (HBO)

PODCAST/RADIO

“Dolly Parton’s America”

During one of the most divisive periods in American history, Dolly Parton is the “great unifier” whose music speaks to people of diverse backgrounds and ideological perspectives. In this long-form multilayered podcast, host Jad Abumrad and producer Shima Oliaee explore Parton’s relationship to feminism, her faith, and her country roots, as well as the perpetuation of certain myths about Southern identity.

Osm Audio and WNYC Studios (WNYC)

“Have You Heard George’s Podcast?”

Through poetry, spoken word, music, and speculative fiction, George Mpanga, known as “George the Poet,” pushes the boundaries of language and wordplay to explore issues of trauma, intimacy, work, art and creativity, belonging, attachment, and meaning in Black Atlantic worlds. From the sonic and creative cultures and histories of black people in West Africa, England, the Caribbean, and the U.S., George the Poet constructs a rich and provocative 21st-century cosmos in this podcast.

BBC Sounds/George the Poet Ltd. (BBC Sounds)

“In the Dark: The Path Home”

In the second season of this story, Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark once again set the benchmark for what truly superb true crime podcasts can and should be, expertly revealing a pattern of discriminatory jury selection in the troubling case of Curtis Flowers. Their reporting tells the bigger story of race and the criminal justice system while just as adeptly engaging in the more local story of the lives affected.

American Public Media (APM Reports)

“Threshold: The Refuge”

Host Amy Martin reveals the tangle of traditional culture, economic aspirations, spiritual practices, protest movements, and political deal-making that shape current environmental policies in this five-part series on the battle over the future of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A superb account of environmental activism, Alaska Native rights, and the politics of oil and gas exploration features indigenous voices discussing their own futures.

(Auricle Productions)

NEWS

“A Different Kind of Force: Policing Mental Illness”

This poignant documentation of how local law enforcement in Texas is adapting to handle people with mental illness with empathy rather than weapons provides background on how the deinstitutionalization of the mental health system and lack of resources created a societal problem. The report carefully gives voice to people with mental illness and their families, and offers strategies to address the issue.

(NBC News)

“American Betrayal”

Richard Engel’s reports on the U.S. decision to abandon their allies the Kurds through war footage and interviews with Kurdish soldiers, a school teacher, and foreign policy experts masterfully attend to both the big picture and to the humans trapped in that picture. Offering a nuanced historical primer, Engel’s work interrogates policy as much as it features the human costs of rash policy.

NBC News, Engel Unit (NBC/MSNBC)

“Long Island Divided”

This three-year-long investigation of housing discrimination and its impact on Long Island’s suburban towns and communities is local investigative journalism at its best. Through compelling documentary, data journalism, and hidden cameras, “Long Island Divided” shows the personal toll and collective impact on individuals and families subjected to the everyday practices of racial discrimination institutionalized by the real estate industry.

Newsday

“The Hidden Workforce: Undocumented in America”

This revealing look at undocumented workers in the United States takes the focus away from the border and places us instead in the American Midwest to show how vital immigrants have become to the heartland—humanizing them and their contributions to the social, economic, and cultural fabric of the nation.

(CNN)

“Unwarranted”

Investigative reporter Dave Savini spent a year reporting on botched police raids in the Chicago area that left behind traumatized families and trashed homes. Through exhaustive interviews, surveillance video, and hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests, Savini uncovered police behavior that ranges from careless to callous. The reports resulted in Illinois legislation that instructs police departments to train officers on how to de-escalate force if children are present during a raid. (WBBM-TV)

CHILDREN’S & YOUTH

“Molly of Denali”

While American media depicts indigenous characters almost entirely in historical settings, the charming story of Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl who helps her parents run the Denali Trading Post, represents these traditions as a living culture with much to offer at the current moment—from environmental consciousness to community belonging to creative expression.

WGBH Educational Foundation, Atomic Cartoons (PBS Kids)

See the entire list of the 60 Peabody nominees 

Cicely Tyson receives Peabody Career Achievement Award

The Peabody Awards have selected Cicely Tyson, renowned for her work on stage, screen, and television, as the recipient of a Career Achievement Award. The honor is reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to broadcasting and digital media have left an indelible mark on the field and in American culture. With a critically acclaimed career that spans over 70 years in American broadcast television, Tyson has been a foundational figure in the advancement of meaningful programming and social change through her performances, transforming how African Americans are considered on and off screen.

“Cicely Tyson’s uncompromising commitment to using her craft to address the big issues of her time—gender equality, racial and social justice, equity and inclusion—places her in rare company. And she did so when speaking up and speaking out invited stigma, isolation, and retribution,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “She was a seminal figure of her time, and ahead of her time.”

Oprah Winfrey, on behalf of Peabody in a video tribute, testified to Tyson’s tremendous influence: “I thank you for not just paving the way for me and every other black woman who dared to have a career in entertainment, but being the way—standing for the truth in your art in all ways. And allowing us to be lifted by the light of your illustrious life.”

In explaining their selection of Tyson, the Peabody Board of Jurors noted: “With her award-winning performances, Tyson has taught us to champion a world of possibility for social justice, creativity, vitality, and joy. Through her career she has demonstrated the importance of imagining human freedom, the power of struggle, the grace of sacrifice, and the importance of witnessing in a nation desperate to reckon with itself. Her powerful command of her craft and her life-long dedication to make work that entertains and challenges helps us find our ethical and moral bearings, inviting us to ponder the qualities that make for an ethical and moral life.”

Tyson’s work helped shape American broadcast television in its Golden Age. From 1951-1970, she appeared in 23 programs and series including “Naked City,” “I Spy,” “Mission Impossible,” “Gunsmoke,” and “East Side/West Side.” Some of her foundational work includes “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” (1974), “Roots” (1977), “King” (1978), “The Women of Brewster Place” (1989), “Always Outnumbered” (1998), “A Lesson Before Dying” (1999), “Jewel” (2002), and “The Rosa Parks Story” (2002). She has continued her prodigious output of work, most recently appearing in “The Trip to Bountiful” (2014), “House of Cards” (2016), “Madame Secretary” (2019), and “Cherish the Day” (2020).

Whether playing Ophelia Harkness in “How to Get Away with Murder,” Miss Jane Pittman, Coretta Scott King, Harriet Tubman, or Bitna in “Roots,” Cicely Tyson consistently infuses characters with emotion, courage, humor, insight, determination, and sensitivity. Indeed, her characters showed television audiences what freedom dreams look like for black women and men, what the ordinary and the everyday life feels like, and what the elegance, nobility, and grace of black people are like.

The Peabody 30, including Institutional Winners, will be announced Wednesday, June 10.

The Peabody Awards were founded and are based at Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Peabody Appoints Six New Members to Board of Directors

Major leaders from across media include executives and creatives representing entertainment and news industry, public broadcasting, private foundations, and nonprofit organizations

Peabody announces the appointment of several new members to its bicoastal board of directors. The boards provide expert counsel and stewardship, and advance Peabody’s commitment to outstanding and transformative storytelling. Launched in 2015, the board of directors are separate from the traditional board of jurors that bestow the prestigious Peabody Awards for excellence in broadcasting and digital media.

Peabody is based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Comprised of an East Coast and West Coast arm, the composition of the boards reflect the diversity of Peabody’s constituencies.

“The intellectual capital and energy our boards bring is unparalleled, and we are excited to welcome these new members as they help us extend our reach through new partnerships and public engagements,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody.

New members of the East Coast board (in alphabetical order) include:

  • Nancy Barnes, senior vice president of news and editorial director at NPR, oversees journalism and journalists around the world and across platforms. She joined NPR in November 2018, after serving as executive editor for Hearst Texas Newspapers and the Houston Chronicle.
  • Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, executive vice president of government and corporate affairs, Univision Communications Inc., spearheads the company’s government relations efforts, corporate social responsibility, social impact and empowerment initiatives. She previously served as a partner at Monument Policy Group, where she led the firm’s technology, media and crisis communications practices.
  • Chris McCarthy was recently named president of entertainment & youth brands, ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks—adding Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel and TV Land brands and their respective content studios to his current portfolio of MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo Media. McCarthy joined Viacom in 2004 as a freelancer and rose up the ranks holding various positions of responsibility from marketing, strategy, operations and development.
  • Soledad O’Brien, journalist, speaker, author and philanthropist, anchors and produces the Hearst Television political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.” Founder and CEO of Soledad O’Brien Productions, she also reports for HBO’s “Real Sports,” “The PBS NewsHour,” WebMD, and has authored two books.
  • Connor Schell, executive vice president of content, ESPN, is responsible for overseeing all aspects of content creation across the company. He handles management of ESPN’s event and studio production, as well as news, information, and storytelling content across television, audio, digital and print platforms. Schell is also the executive producer and co-creator of the Emmy-, Oscar- and Peabody Award-winning “30 for 30” documentary series.

The West Coast board is adding one new member to its ranks:

  • Steven Lafferty, partner and managing director, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), heads the agency’s industry-leading television department, which represents many of the world’s top television creators, executive producers, directors, and production companies.

The new members will join the following boards (in alphabetical order following chair):

EAST COAST

  • John Huey (Chair), Former Editor-in-Chief, Time Inc.
  • Philip Balboni, Founder, CEO and Co-Executive Editor, Daily Chatter
  • Diana Barrett, Founder and President, The Fledgling Fund
  • Caty Borum Chattoo, Director, Center for Media & Social Impact, American University
  • Katie Couric, Journalist and Author; Founder, Katie Couric Media
  • Maria Cuomo Cole, Producer/Founder, Cuomo Cole Productions
  • Nancy Dubuc, CEO, Vice Media
  • Kerri Hoffman, CEO, PRX
  • Dave Isay, President and Founder, StoryCorps
  • Paula Kerger, President and CEO, PBS
  • Pat Mitchell, CEO and Producer; Founder, TEDWomen & Chair, Sundance Institute board
  • Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks
  • Sheila Nevins, Head, MTV Documentary Films, MTV Studios
  • Michele Norris-Johnson, Founding Director, The Race Card Project & Former NPR Host
  • Jay Rosen, Professor, New York University
  • Malika Saada Saar, Senior Counsel, Civil and Human Rights, Google
  • Kashif Shaikh, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Pillars Fund
  • Neil Shapiro, President and CEO, WNET New York Public Media
  • Marcia Smith, Co-Founder and President, Firelight Media

WEST COAST

  • Bruce M. Ramer (Chair), Partner, Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown
  • Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television
  • Casey Bloys, President, Programming, HBO
  • Emerson Coleman, Vice President, Programming, Hearst Television Inc.
  • Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content, YouTube
  • Stephen Davis, Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer, Hasbro, Inc.
  • Craig Erwich, Senior Vice President, Head of Content, Hulu
  • Susie Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President, Scripted Programming, AMC and Sundance TV
  • Cliff Gilbert-Lurie, Senior Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP
  • Roma Khanna, CEO, Revolt Media and TV
  • David Kramer, Co-President, United Talent Agency
  • John Landgraf, Chairman, FX Networks and FX Productions
  • Steve Mosko, CEO, Village Roadshow Entertainment
  • David Nevins, Chief Creative Officer, CBS Corporation and Chairman and CEO, Showtime Networks
  • Andy Patman, Co-Head, TV Literary Department, Paradigm Talent Agency
  • Rick Rosen, Head of Television, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
  • Peter Roth, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group
  • Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios Inc.
  • Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix
  • Michael Schwimmer, Executive Vice President, International, Business Development and Strategy, Dish and Sling TV
  • David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios
  • Paul Telegdy, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment
  • Zack Van Amburg, Head of Worldwide Video, Apple

Peabody and FX partner to present “Stories of the Year” television special

Peabody and FX have partnered on a documentary-style television special entitled “Peabody Presents: Stories of the Year,” featuring conversations with recent Peabody Award winners about pressing social issues and the positive impact of Stories That Matter.

“Peabody Awards curate the best in storytelling to promote greater empathy and shift thinking about the world around us,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, Peabody executive director. “As such, we are uniquely positioned to demonstrate how diverse narratives reflect who we are as people. This television special, in partnership with FX, will showcase award-winning content at a critical time in public discourse, and further social conversation in meaningful ways. ”

The special, slated for a summer premiere on FX, will feature an intimate roundtable discussion exploring themes and issues that face society today. Issues discussed include race, the LGBTQ experience, rape culture, and multicultural representation in the media landscape today. It will also feature footage from the 78th Annual Peabody Awards ceremony, taking place Saturday, May 18 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

Confirmed participants include:

  • Hasan Minhaj (moderator), comedian and two-time Peabody Award winner for “Homecoming King” and “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj.”
  • Steven Canals, co-creator, executive producer and writer of Peabody Award-winning FX series “Pose.”
  • Paula Lavigne, ESPN investigative reporter for the Peabody Award-winning “Spartan Silence: Crisis at Michigan State.”
  • Terence Nance, filmmaker and creator of Peabody Award-winning “Random Acts of Flyness” on HBO.
  • Tracy Heather Strain, director/writer of the PBS/WNET documentary, the Peabody Award-winning “Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart.”

For more information about this year’s Peabody Award-winning programs, visit Peabodyawards.com.

The program will be produced for FX by Den of Thieves, with Executive Producers Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager and Chris Choun and Co-Executive Producer Jeff Roe.

#GradyGrit: Meet Thomas May

What made you choose EMST as your major?
I’ve always wanted to end up in a writer’s room for TV, so when I transferred to UGA, I knew that I would apply for admission into Grady, and furthermore, into EMST. I remember being really excited that Grady actually had a program dedicated to that type of storytelling because it seems to be a bit of a rarity, even though it’s growing everyday.

What are your career aspirations with your Grady major?
Writing for television or working in television development. I think being on either side of the table would provide for some really interesting and fulfilling opportunities to tell the types of stories you want to tell. But honestly, more bluntly and simply, just to make a career out of telling stories that people want to hear, whatever the format and whatever the platform.

What has been the best advice you’ve received or learned from a Grady teacher or class?
3210 with Biddle will definitely have a lasting impact on me. I don’t know if I’ll ever direct again, but I wanted to put myself outside my comfort zone and try it, and I’m really glad that I did. I’m not a very authoritative person, or really even very talkative, so there were a lot of times where I had to sort of go beyond my nature for the final product. But my crew was awesome and invaluable, and Biddle’s advice never fails to pull you towards something better. It was one of those really tough things that makes you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to the second you’re done with it.

How do you think Grady majors stand out on campus?
I think everyone in Grady has worked really hard to get where they are, and they know it, so there’s a certain amount of confidence that I think people notice. On top of that, there’s a lot of passion in Grady. Everybody really wants to be here and cares about the stories they’re telling and the work they’re doing. Also, though this one might be pretty obvious, the communication of ideas really does stand out. We all know how to get across what we’re trying to say.

What did you study during CURO and why?
I studied the Peabody Archive under the direction of Dr. Taylor Miller. Our catalyst was finding and curating a list of really cool or unique programming that we have in the archive, and the research sort of evolved into building a foundation for future research. Once we had found our programs and paper artifacts, we started to build topical concentrations around those as examples for the type of research that could be done using the archive. There’s a lot of unique capabilities that it has to offer, not just because of the rarity of the programming, but because of the context that such a complete collection provides. If you’re curious about the viewer responses or funding information for a particular program, a lot of times the entrants provided that information to the jury when they submitted decades ago. But anyway, we got to explore a huge variety of programming, so it was really an enriching experience. Dr. Miller gave me a lot of freedom to look into topics that drew me in, but also guidance when I really needed it.

What has working at the archive taught you? How do you use your skills that you’ve learned in Grady there?
First and foremost, it’s taught me that archives are underestimated, or at least they were by me. I think in our age, we’re very quick to assume that we can find all of the information on a topic with a few Internet searches and a digitized version of a program to follow. But there’s such an incredible wealth of programming and context that’s made available and preserved because of archives that we might not even know about otherwise. I’m given a lot of opportunities there to put to use skills from Grady coursework, whether it be providing input on what pieces of stories we include in educational compilations or descriptions of footage from the archive.

What was your role like on the Peabody Student Honor Board and how did it impact you?
That was really special. Having the opportunity to select the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards with my peers, and with the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey Jones, was really meaningful, but it was all pulled together when we got to meet and talk with all of the recipients in New York. It was a constant reminder that people are telling incredible stories in innovative ways, a reminder that I think was never undervalued against the backdrop of what often felt like a world that would much rather focus on other stories at the time. Dr. Jones also really cares about recognizing stories on platforms that a majority of award-bestowers and the like haven’t really caught up with yet, and by examining those stories with a demographic of people that know those platforms really well: college students. I think that was the biggest impact on me: a reminder that even though you often feel like because of your age you have less to add to an academic discussion, sometimes you might actually have more.

Favorite movie quote?
This excerpt from Sam’s speech in The Two Towers because LotR and storytelling:
“…It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why…”

What are your summer plans?
I’m spending my last summer in Athens. I’m taking my final two Grady classes online and will continue to work at the archive. I also just finished a feature-length script that I plan to spend my summer preparing for competitions. I hope to write a lot. It’s something that’s always hard to make time for, but I think this summer will be a good opportunity for that.

Any Netflix/Hulu recommendations?
A Young Doctor’s Notebook and The Last Kingdom (both on Netflix)

Peabody Awards adds two members to Board of Jurors

Joshua Brand, veteran writer/producer/director, and Mike Monello, founder of Campfire and co-creator of “The Blair Witch Project,” bring diverse experience and insight to prestigious board

 

Peabody has appointed Joshua Brand and Mike Monello to its board of jurors, which each year evaluates entries and bestows the Peabody Awards for excellence in electronic media. The program is housed in the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“It’s always exciting to bring fresh voices and insight to the judging process,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of the Peabody Awards. “We strive for a mix of top-level industry leaders from varied backgrounds who are well-versed in media excellence, and Joshua and Mike certainly fit the bill.”

Joshua Brand is a writer, director and producer who has worked on five Peabody Award-winning programs, including “St. Elsewhere,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Northern Exposure” (two wins), and “The Americans.” Earlier in his career, he was a story editor on “The White Shadow” and later shared credit for developing the first season of “Amazing Stories” with Steven Spielberg. Brand also co-created “A Year in the Life” and “Going to Extremes.” In addition to Peabody Awards, he is the recipient of multiple Emmys, Golden Globes, a Producer’s Guild Award, and a Humanitas Prize. As a director, he was nominated for an Emmy and a Director’s Guild of America Award for the two-hour pilot of “I’ll Fly Away.” In 2013, he received the Paddy Chayefsky Lifetime Achievement Award from the Writer’s Guild of America. In 2015, an episode of “The Americans” he wrote, titled “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?” was nominated for an Emmy. A graduate of The City College in New York, Brand also earned a master’s degree in English literature from Columbia University.

Mike Monello is a true pioneer when it comes to immersive storytelling and innovative marketing. In the late 1990s, Monello and his partners at Haxan Films created The Blair Witch Project, a story told across the burgeoning internet, a sci-fi channel pseudo-documentary, books, comics, games, and a feature film, which became a pop-culture touchstone and inspired legions of “found-footage” movies in its wake. It forever changed how fans engage with story and how marketers approach the internet. Inspired by the possibilities for engaging connected fan cultures and communities online, Monello co-founded Campfire in 2006. There, he leads an agency that has developed and created groundbreaking participatory stories and experiences for HBO, Amazon, Netflix, Cinemax, Discovery, National Geographic, Harley-Davidson, Infiniti, and more. Campfire won Small Agency Campaign of the Year via AdAge in 2013 and Small Agency of the Year via the Online Marketing Media and Advertising Awards in 2012, and has been awarded top honors at the Cannes Lions Festival, Clios, One Show, MIXX, and the Emmys. Monello regularly speaks at high-profile events such as Advertising Week, SXSW, Digital Hollywood, and more.

The Peabody Board of Jurors is made up of media industry professionals, media scholars, critics and journalists who are appointed by the program’s executive director to a renewable three-year term of service. The single criteria for receiving a Peabody Award is excellence. Toward that end, jurors ask themselves: Does this story matter? Is this a story that needs telling? Does it inform us as citizens or help us empathize with one another? The current board of jurors includes:

  • Marcy Carsey, TV producer, co-founder, Carsey-Werner Company
  • Eric Deggans, TV critic, NPR; guest host, CNN’s Reliable Sources
  • Eddie Garrett (chair), executive vice president, Global Digital Strategies, Porter Novelli
  • Herman Gray, professor of sociology, University of California-Santa Cruz
  • Jonathan Gray, professor of media and cultural studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • John Huey, former editor-in-chief, TIME Inc.
  • Kathy Im, director of journalism and media, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Henry Jenkins, professor of communication, journalism, cinematic arts and education, University of Southern California
  • Simon Kilmurry, executive director, International Documentary Association
  • Kim Masters, editor-at-large, The Hollywood Reporter; host, KCRW’s The Business
  • Mark McKinnon, TV producer and political analyst
  • Martha Nelson, global editor-in-chief, Yahoo Media
  • Monica Pearson, retired news anchor, WSB-TV Atlanta
  • Naibe Reynoso, co-host, “HOLA! LA” on KCAL/KCBS; host and producer, Ora TV
  • John Seigenthaler, senior counsel, Finn Partners; former anchor, NBC News

Submissions are now being accepted for the 77th Annual Peabody Awards at www.peabodyawards.com. Judging will begin in early 2018, and the awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 19, at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.