A record 39 recipients of the 70th annual Peabody Awards were announced March 31 by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for the year 2010, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery.
“For 70 years the Peabody Award has defined excellence in electronic media,” said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards. “This list of Peabody recipients continues the commitment of the University of Georgia and the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the stewards of the award. With that commitment, we challenge media makers and distributors to reach higher, try harder and be ever mindful of their central role in public life.”
The latest Peabody winners reflect diversity in content, genre and sources of origination. The recipients included The Pacific, an epic HBO miniseries about American soldiers and sailors fighting in the Pacific theater of World War II; Men of a Certain Age, TNT’s comedy-drama about three middle-aged pals; an Independent Lens documentary, Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian; and The Moth Radio Hour, where the ancient art of storytelling is honored and expanded weekly.
The entertainment programs selected included The Good Wife, a CBS dramatic series about a political spouse’s life after her husband’s downfall, and Justified, FX’s modern-day Western set in Appalachia. Peabodys also went to Sherlock: A Study in Pink, Masterpiece/Mystery!’s 21st century update of Sherlock Holmes, and Temple Grandin, the HBO movie about an animal-rights activist who is autistic. Degrassi, the long-running youth drama, was honored for “My Body Is a Cage,” a two-part episode that dealt with a transgender teenager.
International recipients included Report on a New Generation of Migrant Workers in China, a report by Hong Kong’s Phoenix InfoNews Channel about challenges facing the latest wave of Chinese workers abandoning rural life for urban, and Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children, BBC Four’s presentation of Xoliswa Sithole’s secretly-filmed documentary about the abysmal living conditions of her homeland’s youngest citizens.
In the arts, two American Masters documentaries won Peabodys: LennoNYC, a documentary about John Lennon’s life and work in his adopted home city, and Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia, an homage to the theatrical and film director by Martin Scorsese. Peabodys also went to William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible, an Art21 film that looked at the creative process of a multifaceted artist whose work includes sculpture, animation, theater and tapestries, and Macbeth, a Great Performances production that sets Shakespeare’s tragedy in a modern, militaristic society.
“The Peabody Awards were established with deep respect for the critical role played by electronic media in contemporary society and culture,” said Newcomb. “The annual announcement of the recipients continues in that spirit to recognize work that sets the highest standards for the media industries.”
The complete list of winners is available online at www.peabody.uga.edu.