Peabody Award

The George Foster Peabody Awards (or simply Peabody Awards) program, named for the American businessman and philanthropist George Peabody, honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media. Programs are recognized in seven categories: news, entertainment, documentaries, children's programming, education, interactive programming, and public service. Peabody Award winners include radio and television stations, networks, online media, producing organizations, and individuals from around the world.

Established in 1940 by a committee of the National Association of Broadcasters, the Peabody Award was created to honor excellence in radio broadcasting. It is the oldest major electronic media award in the United States and some say the most prestigious, sometimes competing for recognition with the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award. Final Peabody Award winners are selected unanimously by the program's Board of Jurors.[1] Reflecting excellence in quality storytelling, rather than popularity or commercial success, Peabody Awards are distributed annually to 30 out of 60 finalists culled from more than 1,000 entries.[2][3] Because submissions are accepted from a wide variety of sources and styles, deliberations seek "Excellence On Its Own Terms".[4]

Each entry is evaluated on the achievement of standards established within its own context.[3][5] Entries, for which a US$350 fee (US$225 for radio) is required, are self-selected by those making submissions.[6]

Peabody Awards
George Foster Peabody Awards
Awarded forDistinguished achievement and meritorious public service by television and radio stations, networks, producing organizations, individuals, and the World Wide Web.
CountryUnited States
Presented byHenry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia
First awardedMarch 29, 1941


In 1938, the National Association of Broadcasters formed a committee to recognize outstanding achievement in radio broadcasting.[7] Committee member Lambdin Kay, public-service director for WSB radio in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time, is credited for creating the award, named for businessman and philanthropist George Foster Peabody, who donated the funds that made the awards possible.[8][9] Fellow WSB employee Lessie Smithgall introduced Lambdin to John E. Drewry, of the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, who endorsed the idea.[9][10] The Peabody Award was established in 1940 with the Grady College of Journalism as its permanent home.[4]

The Peabody Awards were originally issued only for radio programming, but television awards were introduced in 1948. In the late 1990s additional categories for material distributed via the World Wide Web were added.[3] Materials created solely for theatrical motion picture release are not eligible.

Peabody judging

The Peabody Awards judging process is unusually rigorous.[4] Each year, more than 1,000 entries are evaluated by some 30 committees composed of a number of faculty, staff, and students from the University of Georgia and other higher education institutions across the country.[11] Each committee is charged with screening or listening to a small number of entries and delivering written recommendations to the Peabody Board of Jurors, a ~17-member panel of scholars, critics, and media-industry professionals.[11] Board members discuss recommended entries as well as their own selections at intensive preliminary meetings in California and Texas. The Board convenes at the University of Georgia in early April for final screenings and deliberations. Each entrant is judged on its own merit, and only unanimously selected programs receive a Peabody Award.[4] For many years, there was no set number of awards issued. However, in 2016 the program instituted the Peabody 30, representing the best programs out of a field of 60 nominees. Prior to this, the all-time record for Peabody Award recipients in a single year was 46 in 2013.[12]

Key people

Award announcements and ceremonies

Each spring, the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors announce award recipients for work released during the previous year. Traditionally, the winners' announcements have been made via a simple press release and/or a press conference. In recent years, however, organizers have also taken to television to reveal some Peabody Award recipients in an effort to expand public awareness of the awards. An April 2014 segment of CBS This Morning included an announcement of 2013 Peabody winners.[15] In April 2015, the 2014 Peabodys were revealed over an 8-day period, with the entertainment-based recipients revealed on ABC's Good Morning America.[16]

Formal presentation of the Peabody Awards are traditionally held in late May or early June. For many years, the awards were given during a luncheon in New York City. The ceremony moved to a red carpet evening event for the first time on May 31, 2015, with Fred Armisen serving as host.[16] Several famous names have served as Peabody Awards ceremony hosts over the years, among them Walter Cronkite, Lesley Stahl, Jackie Gleason, Jon Stewart, Morley Safer, Craig Ferguson, Larry King,[3][17] and Ira Glass.[15] From 2014-2016, the Peabody Awards aired on a tape-delayed basis on the TV channel Pivot.[18] On June 2, 2017, a television special of the 76th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony was broadcast on both PBS and FUSION networks.[19]

Peabody Awards Archive

The Peabody Awards Collection is the flagship of The Walter J. Brown Media Archive & Peabody Awards Collection. The archives are housed in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries on the north campus of The University of Georgia. The mission of the Peabody Archive is to preserve, protect, and provide access to the moving image and sound materials that reflect the collective memory of broadcasting and the history of the state of Georgia and its people. The collection contains nearly every entry for the first major broadcast award given in the United States. Entries began in 1940 for radio and 1948 for television, and at least 1,000 new entries are received every year—programs created by local, national, and international producers. The collection provides a cultural cross-section of television from its infancy to the present day, featuring news, documentary, entertainment, educational, and children's programming. Once judging is complete, all entries are moved to the Main Library for in-depth cataloging, access, and long-term preservation.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. "Peabody; Who We Are". Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  2. ^ a b Shearer, Lee (2001-03-27). "UGA names new Peabody director". Athens Banner-Herald. Archived from the original on 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  3. ^ a b c d Moore, Frazier (September 26, 2002). "Emmys over? Now let's get acquainted with the Peabodys". The Daily Courier. Google News. Associated Press. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  4. ^ a b c d Koehler, Robert (2011-05-21). "Peabody board casts wide net for excellence". Variety. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  5. ^ Lawhorn, Jenny (2005-04-09). "NPR Wins Peabody Award for Iraq Reporting". NPR. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  6. ^ "Submit an Entry for Consideration". Peabody Awards official. 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2015-03-16.
  7. ^ "Broadcasters Honor Rusk". The Albany Herald. Google News. Associated Press. 1989-01-19. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  8. ^ "Radio: New Order of Merit". TIME. Time Inc. 7 April 1941. Retrieved 14 September 2009. (subscription required)
  9. ^ a b "60 Minutes Journalist To Deliver UGA's Peabody-Smithgall Lecture". PR Newswire. 2011-03-16. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  10. ^ "Local business icons inducted into hall of fame". AccessNorthGa. 2012-04-13. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  11. ^ a b Cummins, Lance (2004-03-17). "Local student to judge Peabodys". TheCitizen. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
  12. ^ "Peabody Hands Out A Record 46 Awards," from TVNewsCheck, 4/2/2014
  13. ^ "About the Authors". McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  14. ^ "The Peabody Awards".
  15. ^ a b "Ira Glass Will Host 73rd Annual Peabody Awards," from the Peabody Awards website (accessed 4/16/2015)
  16. ^ a b Announcement of early 74th Peabody Award winners from (accessed 4/15/2015)
  17. ^ "Larry King Hosting Peabody Awards". The Huffington Post. Associated Press. 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
  18. ^ "Participant Media’s Pivot to Broadcast Peabody Awards Through 2016," from Variety 3/17/2014
  19. ^ Pedersen, Erik (2017-04-03). "Peabody Awards 2017 To Air On PBS & Fusion; Rashida Jones Set As Host". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  20. ^ "History :: UGA Libraries Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection".

External links

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The series premiered on October 4, 1988 and was originally titled The American Experience, but the article "The" was dropped during a later rebrand and image update. The show has had a presence on the Internet since 1995, and more than 100 American Experience programs are accompanied by their own internet websites, which have more background information on the subjects covered as well as teachers' guides and educational companion materials. The show is produced primarily by WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts, though occasionally in the early seasons of the show, it was co-produced by other PBS stations such as WNET (Channel 13) in New York City.

Some programs now considered part of the American Experience collection were produced prior to the creation of the series. Vietnam: A Television History was one of them, airing originally in 1983 after taking six years to assemble. Also, in 2006, American Experience rebroadcast Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, the first half of the award-winning 1986 documentary series about the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

Boston Public

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The series has won 4 Emmy Awards, the Peabody Award, the Directors Guild of America Award, Parents’ Choice Awards, and others.

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"This whimsical, charming, deceptively simple marriage of animation to the music of Tchaikovsky, Bach and Ellington becomes an interactive treat for young children and parents alike."In 2017, two new lullaby-themed episodes aired on HBO - "Classical Baby: The Lullaby Show 1" and "Classical Baby: The Lullaby Show 2."

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Independent Lens has won six Primetime Emmy Awards and 20 films have won News & Documentary Emmy Awards. In 2012, "Have You Heard From Johannesburg?" won for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking; in 2007, A Lion in the House won for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking; and A Lion's Trail won in 2006 for Outstanding Cultural and Artistic Programming. Three other films won for Best Documentary: Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life in 2008, Be Good, Smile Pretty in 2004, and Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle in 2000. Four Independent Lens films won News & Documentary Emmys in 2017 alone: The Armor of Light; (T)error; Best of Enemies; and In Football We Trust. As well, six Independent Lens films garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2006), The Weather Underground (2004), Waste Land (2010), Hell and Back Again (2011), How to Survive a Plague (2012), and I Am Not Your Negro (2016). Other awards conferred upon Independent Lens films include the George Foster Peabody Award, International Documentary Association Documentary Awards, Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award, and Sundance Film Festival Awards.

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Peabody Award winners

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