Athens, Ga. – The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors has selected 11 winners across the categories of News, Public Service, Radio/Podcast and Web. The honorees range from relentless local and national news investigations and a children’s podcast with a nod to the charms of the early days of radio to a stunning interactive display of Houston’s ever-present vulnerability to climate change. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
This selection rounds out the final Peabody 30, all of which will be honored at the 76th Annual Peabody Awards ceremony on May 20 in New York, hosted by Rashida Jones.
“Arrested at School: Criminalizing Classroom Misbehavior”
KNTV Bay Area (NBC)
A rigorous examination into local school districts relying on police as a means of student discipline reveals an alarming overreach by law enforcement. The result for many students-mostly minority populations-is juvenile citations that become permanent criminal records. Tenacious reporting contributes to the larger conversation about rebuilding trust between police and their communities.
“Charity Caught on Camera”
WTHR-TV Indianapolis (NBC)
In a fine example of the impact investigative journalism can have on communities, reporters uncover layers of mismanagement and corruption at a local nonprofit, including catching the charity’s pastor taking donated goods for his own use. Further probing eventually led to the resignations of top leadership, prompting a separate investigation by the state’s attorney general.
“ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” “Undercover in Syria,” “Battle for Mosul”
These three packages from CNN’s seasoned war correspondents feature outstanding, on-the-ground reporting from the Middle East. Graphic images of the wounded and the bloodied bring the senselessness of the fighting to the foreground, as do haunting images of young children who’ve only seen and experienced a world of airstrikes, fear, pain and loss.
WTHR-TV Indianapolis (NBC)
This excellent local investigative journalism piece uses diligent reporting and creative visuals to tell the story of how one Indiana watchdog agency failed to do its job. A voluntary remediation program allowed companies to shirk their duties to clean up sites leaking poison into groundwater in residential areas. The investigation exposed decades of lax oversight and served as a catalyst for change within the agency.
“Heart of an Epidemic, West Virginia’s Opioid Addiction”
The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley (CBS)
As opioid addiction continues to eat away and destroy largely working class communities across the country, CBS reporter Jim Axelrod ventured to West Virginia, investigating shady “pill mills” and doctors interested more in profit than healing to reveal culpability and collusion of both government and industry.
“#MoreThanMean – Women in Sports ‘Face’ Harassment”
Just Not Sports & One Tree Forest Films (YouTube/Twitter/Facebook)
A moving attack on misogynistic troll culture, this short video’s simple message about civility online painfully conveys the damage of vicious tweets. #MoreThanMean is an extremely powerful four minutes that encourages both an end to silence around abuse of women in sports journalism and a reflection on the toxic treatment of women online in general.
“In the Dark”
An examination of a 27-year-old cold case in central Minnesota asks what went wrong and with immaculate storytelling and journalistic precision asks why it took so long to solve. A tour de force of investigative reporting, “In the Dark” is a podcast as deftly incisive in telling the human tale as it is full and unrelenting in its attention to broader policy implications.
“The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel”
Mars Patel LLC (Panoply)
This original, serialized podcast transports listeners to follow Mars Patel-a plucky but brilliant outcast prone to trouble-and his friends as they investigate the mysterious connection between disappearing kids and a billionaire inventor. With vivid characters and fast-paced storytelling, “The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel” recaptures the best of golden age radio while also representing fresh and diverse young voices.
“This American Life: Anatomy of Doubt”
This American Life, PBC in collaboration with The Marshall Project and ProPublica (Multiple stations/platforms)
The story of a young woman whose allegations of rape are dismissed as attention-seeking lies by both the police and those closest to her juxtaposed with the account of how her rapist was eventually captured by another police department. The report is a chilling indictment of doubt, a harrowing picture of the vilification and criminal prosecution the victim suffered and a heartfelt reminder to trust what victims say.
“Wells Fargo Hurts Whistleblowers”
A substantial report on the systemic issues of a ravenous sales culture at Wells Fargo that led not only to the creation of 2 million fake consumer banking accounts but also the irrevocable blacklisting of employees who attempted to report unethical practices. Interviews with former employees detail the pressures of working in a grindhouse atmosphere to meet daily quotas and the damaging repercussions of whistleblowing, which prompted further U.S. Senate inquiry on bank self-regulation.
“Hell and High Water”
ProPublica and The Texas Tribune
A multimedia, interactive collaboration that weaves cutting-edge climate science, digital mapping tools, engineering simulations, on-the-ground reporting and compelling photography to tell the story of Houston’s current and future vulnerability to dangerous flooding resulting from global warming.
About Peabody Awards
The Peabody Awards honor the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio and digital media. Each year, Peabody Awards are bestowed upon a curated collection of 30 stories that capture society’s most important issues-known as the Peabody 30. Honorees must be unanimously chosen by the Peabody Board of Jurors, a diverse assembly of industry professionals, media scholars, critics, and journalists who each bring a unique perspective of what constitutes a story that matters. From major Hollywood productions to local journalism, the network of Peabody Awards winners is a definitive collection of society’s most important stories and storytellers, including winners that have ranged from Edward R. Murrow, Carol Burnett, and David Letterman to “The Sopranos,” “Sesame Street,” “Breaking Bad,” and “Serial.” The Peabody Awards were founded in 1940 at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and are still based in Athens today. For more information, visit peabodyawards.com or follow @PeabodyAwards on Twitter.
About Grady College
Established in 1915, the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, entertainment and media studies, journalism and public relations. The college offers several graduate degrees and is home to the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see www.grady.uga.edu or follow @UGAGrady on Twitter.