Peabody is launching The Media Center at Peabody, a scholarly research center and digital media production arm of the Peabody Awards. The announcement was made by Jeffrey Jones, executive director of the awards program and new center. The Media Center at Peabody is based at UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The Media Center’s three primary areas of focus are:
• Peabody Programs. The Media Center at Peabody will engage in programming that outwardly extends the yearly awards winners, as well as critical scholarly engagement with the changing media industry landscape. The Media Center is in the process of launching the Peabody Digital Network, a new digital media production arm of Peabody. Through alliances with a variety of distribution outlets, the network will produce and circulate content that illuminates the social and political relevance of award-winning stories and guide public engagement with them. Additional program initiatives include podcasts with award-winning screenwriters, showrunners and producers; and panel discussions, symposia and conferences that link storytellers with groups working to address such issues.
• Peabody Archive. Peabody is home to the third largest archive of audiovisual materials in the U.S., housed in UGA’s special collections libraries. Through books, films and digital media productions, The Media Center’s Cultural Memory Project will connect past and present, recovering vital voices from yesterday’s storytellers and inserting them into debates over issues of the day. The Cultural Memory Project focuses on what these stories can contribute to current social discourse, as well as how they can inform a re-evaluation of what constitutes cultural memory of who and what the U.S. is as a nation.
• Peabody Academy. The Media Center will partner with industry organizations and previous Peabody Award winners to engage aspiring screenwriters, producers and filmmakers through master classes, seminars, workshops, internships and other educational activities. The academy’s focus is connecting Peabody winners with the storytellers of the future, with an emphasis on telling stories with the power to engage and transform.
Jones is joined by a group of television and media studies scholars from across the country who serve as the inaugural class of Peabody Fellow Scholars (2017-2019): David Craig, University of Southern California; Aymar Christian, Northwestern University; Jonathan Gray, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Amanda Lotz, University of Michigan; Jason Mittell, Middlebury College; and Barbie Zelizer, University of Pennsylvania.