Newspro: The Peabody Awards

Newspro: The Peabody Awards

The Peabody Awards
The George Foster Peabody Award is considered by many to be the most prestigious honor in electronic media, akin to the Pulitzer Prize for print journalism. For 2008, the Peabody judges have honored a wide variety of entertainment, news and information media... On Page 11 and On Page 18


  • PBS: ‘Ape Genius’
    “Ape Genius” started life at National Geographic Television, but when the organization struck its recent deal with PBS’ “Nova” to share editorial content for a series of specials, the program moved to PBS. A look at the latest research involving the creative capacity of great apes, the program was singled out by the Peabody judges for exploring just what it means to be human...

  • Nickelodeon: ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’
    Nickelodeon was recognized with a Peabody Award for the anime-influenced children’s show “Avatar: The Last Air Bender.” “We were totally surprised,” said Michael Dante DiMartino, who co-created the series with Bryan Konietzko... On Page 12

  • NBC Olympics: Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony
    On Aug. 8, 2008, an estimated 2 billion people worldwide watched the televised spectacle of the Opening Ceremony for the Beijing Summer Olympics at the Chinese stadium known as the Bird’s Nest. The kickoff of the Summer Games of the XXIX Olympiad was designed by creative director Zhang Yimou, an acclaimed filmmaker... On Page 12

  • ESPN: 'Black Magic'
    In the process of researching a lengthy history of basketball for ESPN, filmmaker (“Crazy Love”) and former PR man Dan Klores found himself becoming more interested in the sports history of historically black colleges and universities... On Page 12

  • AMC: 'Breaking Bad'
    In 2008, AMC won a Peabody Award for “Mad Men.” This year, the network’s other original drama series, “Breaking Bad,” has been recognized. The Peabody board cited the bleak, harrowing, sometimes improbably funny “Breaking Bad,” the story of a mild-mannered, dying science teacher’s decision to secure his family’s future by cooking methamphetamine... On Page 13

  • Hearst-Argyle Television: Commitment 2008
    The echoes of the historic 2008 election are still being felt at Hearst-Argyle Television, one of the nation’s largest station groups, which is being honored with a Peabody Award for its extensive campaign and issues coverage...

  • PBS: ‘Depression: Out of the Shadows’
    PBS’ “Depression: Out of the Shadows” began to take root when director Larkin McPhee read a New Yorker article on the topic by Andrew Solomon, which was later turned into the book “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression”...

  • HBO: ‘Entourage’
    HBO received 2008 Peabody honors for both the miniseries “John Adams” and the comedy series “Entourage.” Head writer and series creator of “Entourage,” Doug Ellin, will accept the Peabody for that series... On Page 13

  • HBO: ‘The Gates’
    HBO’s “The Gates” began life in 1979 when artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude approached New York City officials with their idea of installing orange fabric gates along 23 miles of Central Park paths. Filmmaker brothers Al and David Maysles were there with their cameras when they were turned down... On Page 14

  • HBO: 'Hear and Now'
    Irene Taylor Brodsky learned just a few weeks beforehand that her parents, in their 60s and both deaf all their lives, had decided to get cochlear implants that had the potential to allow them to hear for the first time... On Page 14

  • ABC News: 'Hopkins'
    Not many broadcast networks devote six hours of primetime programming to a documentary series, but for ABC News, the effort has paid off in a Peabody Award for “Hopkins,” a cinéma vérité look inside Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital that aired last summer... On Page 14 and On Page 15

  • HBO: 'John Adams'
    Over seven nights, HBO Films and Tom Hanks’ production company Playtone told the story—in rich detail, noted the Peabody judges—of the U.S.’ second president, John Adams, and his wife, Abigail... On Page 14 and On Page 15

  • PBS, ‘Independent Lens’: ‘King Corn’
    The question the film “King Corn” wanted to answer was simple: Where does our food come from? The answer was complex and sprawling, but it was made easier to digest by the storytelling, which the Peabody judges said started off “like a post-grad goof”...

  • ABC: 'Lost'
    Since the moment it first splashed into primetime in 2004, ABC’s drama “Lost” has been the epitome of a buzz-worthy, successful TV show. It also has been an award winner, snaring Emmys, Saturns, Golden Globes and now the Peabody... On Page 15

  • PBS, ‘Independent Lens’: ‘Mapping Stem Cell Research’
    This year’s Peabody Awards included recognition for PBS’ “Independent Lens: Mapping Stem Cell Research,” a documentary that took the complicated issue of stem cell research and made it personal. “Dr. Kessler was our way into this issue, because it gets very clouded very quickly around religion,” said Lois Vossen, series producer...

  • The Metropolitan Opera Association: ‘The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD’
    Among this year’s Peabody Award winners is a broadcast series not seen on television: “The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD” is a series of vividly designed, smartly annotated productions beamed live to movie theaters using state-of-the-art digital technology...

  • HBO: 'Nanking'
    More than 70 years ago, a small group of Westerners banded together in a foreign country in a time of war and were responsible for saving the lives of thousands of people... On Page 16

  • The New York Times: NYTimes.com
    Long known as “the Gray Lady” for its staid appearance and style, the New York Times was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography. Now, the Web site of the nation’s newspaper of record is a leader in digital journalism. In its citation for the Peabody Award, the paper was recognized for aggressively and imaginatively adding sound and moving images to all the news that’s fit to print...

  • The Onion: Onion News Network
    With titles like “Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters to Realize How Empty Their Lives Are” and “Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard,” the Onion News Network is racking up—and cracking up—large audiences for its online videos, and has scored serious recognition from the Peabody board...

  • PBS: ‘P.O.V.’
    The PBS documentary film series “P.O.V.” is a Peabody Award winner for Kazuhiro Soda’s “Campaign,” which the awards board called a “revealing, sometimes painfully funny documentary” that “observed the ragged political campaign of a naif handpicked and backed by Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party”...

  • CNN: Presidential Primary Coverage
    CNN laid the groundwork for its 2008 election coverage back in 2005 budgeting meetings, when all it really knew was that there would be a wide open two-party race. The planning paid off, with the Peabody judges singling out the cable network’s primary campaign and debate coverage for an award... On Page 16 and On Page 17

  • 'NBC Nightly News': 'Richard Engel Reports: Tip of the Spear'
    Richard Engel is one of the rare breed of electronic journalists who has spent nearly his entire career in war zones. His next tour of duty starts shortly in Pakistan, where he already has lined up a place to live in Islamabad... On Page 17

  • CBS News: ‘60 Minutes: Lifeline’
    In an unprecedented occurrence, CBS News’ Scott Pelley has won a Peabody Award in two consecutive years. Last year, Mr. Pelley, a “60 Minutes” correspondent since 2004, was honored for “The Killings in Haditha,” an interview with Marine Sgt. Frank Woodrich... On Page 17

  • NBC: ‘SNL’ Political Satire, 2008
    It’s likely that as many people followed the 2008 election campaign through “Saturday Night Live” as did by watching the evening news, cable channels or any other television outlet.... On Page 17

  • Turner Broadcasting System: Turner Classic Movies
    Turner Classic Movies celebrated 15 years on the air April 14, a scant two weeks after the announcement the network was being honored with a Peabody Award as a haven for film fans... On Page 17

  • PBS: ‘Washington Week’
    Public television’s “Washington Week” has been bringing reporters from the nation’s capital together for conversation for 42 years. This year, the program, whose current full title is “Washington Week With Gwen Ifill and National Journal,” is being honored with its first Peabody Award...

  • YouTube LLC: YouTube
    In just four years since its founding, YouTube has grown into the world’s most popular video-sharing site. Its emergence as a valuable communications channel has earned a Peabody Award for what the Peabody board called “embodying and promoting democracy”...

  • KMGH-TV, Denver: ‘Failing the Children: Deadly Mistakes’
    While big-name network shows usually grab all the headlines for winning Peabody Awards, the awards board also recognizes excellence on the local news level. This year, Denver’s KMGH-TV won its second Peabody in five years for the story of Chandler Grafner, a 7-year-old boy who died of starvation because of systemic incompetence in Denver’s Department of Human Services... On Page 18

  • KLAS-TV, Las Vegas: ‘Crossfire: Water, Power and Politics'
    For George Knapp, water is anything but a dry subject. The chief investigative reporter for KLAS-TV in Las Vegas has been covering the complex issues involving water supply for a rapidly growing metropolis for the past 10 years... On Page 18

  • WWL-TV, New Orleans: Noah Housing Program Investigation
    Anyone who thinks investigative reporting on the local station level is dead need look no further than WWL-TV in New Orleans, which aired more than 50 reports in one month about fraud in a public agency tasked with assisting poor and elderly residents after Hurricane Katrina... On Page 18