From Pulitzer Monday to Peabody Tuesday, awards season continues to dole out honors and highlight journalistic achievement.
The Peabody Awards program, originally created to honor broadcasting awards and expanded in the digital age to “electronic media,” is doing things a little differently this year. It’s the first year that it’s awarding what it’s calling the Peabody 30–30 winners chosen out of 60 finalists, announced over the course of this week in chunks.
NPR News and PBS NewHour were among the first group of ten winners announced today. NPR News won in the Radio/Podcast category for Secret Mustard Gas Experiments, a series by NPR investigative reporter Caitlin Dickerson. “Horrifying and infuriating although, alas, not surprising, this unforgettable report documented the U.S. Army’s testing of an abominable chemical weapon on some 60,000 of our own World War II soldiers, most of whom were black,” was how the Peabody Awards announcement characterized the series.
“The army conducted these tests more than 70 years ago. But it took Caitlin Dickerson’s curiosity and reporting to reveal that the chemical weapons testing was based on race. And with the help of Barbara Van Woerkom’s relentless research, they did what the VA said it could not do—find the surviving veterans,” said NPR svp of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes in a statement.
PBS NewsHour received a Peabody in the news category for Desperate Journey, a series in which NewsHour’s Malcolm Brabant explored the Syrian/Middle Eastern refugee crisis since June 2015, augmented by the contributions of additional staff. In that span of time, the series captured, as the announcement described it, “the initial, inspirational hospitality of European hosts, the eventual resistance as the waves of humanity became overwhelming, and the hopes and horrors experienced by the refugees themselves.”
“The NewsHour is committed to telling these important and challenging stories and, with this series in particular, shining a light on the bravery and the suffering being endured by so many people seeking a safe, new place to call home, as well as the complex struggles of the communities receiving them,” said PBS NewsHour executive producer and WETA svp Sara Just in a statement.