60 Minutes, Vice News Tonight, PBS NewsHour Among Peabody Award Winners

By A.J. Katz 

The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors revealed their winners in the categories of News, Radio/Podcast and Public Service this morning, and the board had a wealth of extraordinary reporting in 2017 to choose from.

Peabody honorees represent investigative reporting at the local and national levels, profiles from Rohingya to Russia, as well as life-saving public service reports on women’s health.

The iconic CBS news magazine 60 Minutes is receiving the Institutional Award for its role as “one of the nation’s most enduring media institutions celebrating 50 years on the air.”


“A previous recipient of more than 20 Peabody Awards, 60 Minutes consistently delivers hard-hitting, exclusive, thoroughly reported stories that help the American citizenry better understand phenomena as varied as Watergate, Abu Ghraib, symphonic orchestras in the Congo, and cocaine smuggling by the CIA,” the Peabody Board of Jurors noted in a statement. “The journalistic powerhouse has been the source of personalities who have become household names, including original co-hosts Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace, Ed Bradley, Morley Safer, Andy Rooney, Bob Simon, Lesley Stahl, Lara Logan, Steve Kroft, Christiane Amanpour, Anderson Cooper, and Bill Whitaker.”

Members of the 60 Minutes team will join fellow Peabody Award winners, including The Fred Rogers Company (Institutional) and Carol Burnett (Peabody Career Achievement Award presented by Mercedes-Benz), at the awards ceremony on Saturday, May 19 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

Other Peabody Award winners from the world of TV news include:

Charlottesville: Race & Terror / Vice News Tonight (HBO)

Last summer, horrified Americans watched as neo-Nazi supporters occupied Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park to protest the removal of Confederate monuments. VICE reporter Elle Reeve and her crew documented the unfiltered declarations and threats of violence by white supremacists with fearless reporting and unprecedented access. Her portrait of Christopher Cantwell and fellow white supremacists offered a sharp contrast to White House claims that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the conflict.

Fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria / CNN

CNN’s war reporters revealed many sides of the fall of ISIS, and the devastation left in its wake. In addition to courageous correspondents, this notable set of dramatic reports provided fresh angles and the creative use of technology, including stunning drone footage that captured the size and scope of ruined neighborhoods. The network’s continued investment and dedication to the story is especially significant as global conflicts simmer.

Inside Putin’s Russia  / PBS NewsHour  (PBS, WETA)

Special correspondent Nick Schifrin and producer Zach Fannin spent seven weeks in Russia, traveling to more than 12 cities to provide viewers context for thinking about President Vladimir Putin’s global impact. In addition to background on how this KGB veteran rose to power, we learn how he has shaped public opinion through appeals to nationalism and manufacturing consent via “fake news.” Each segment takes us deeper into understanding the mechanisms of power Putin has at his disposal.

Plight of Rohingya Refugees  / BBC News  (BBC World News)

With their media access restricted, BBC correspondents worked to pursue reports of entire villages destroyed and people being slaughtered as more than half a million Muslims fled persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar for neighboring Bangladesh. The series of measured reports, in particular, details the inhumane toll borne by children in an ethnic cleansing.

The Whistleblower   / CBS News 60 Minutes & The Washington Post (CBS)

Sophisticated business reporting from 60 Minutes and The Washington Post resulted in a far-reaching investigation into how the Drug Enforcement Administration was hobbled in its attempts to hold Big Pharma accountable in the opioid epidemic. The explosive story features damning testimony from whistleblower Joe Rannazzisi, a former DEA investigator, uncovering a truly bipartisan problem that continues to receive massive amounts of funding even while the scourge of addiction continues to grow.


Hasan Minhaj will be hosting these awards, and will also be celebrating a Peabody win of his own for his TV special Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King.

The presenting sponsor is Mercedes-Benz, the official automobile of the 77th Annual Peabody Awards Ceremony. Supporting sponsor is The Coca-Cola Co. Variety is the exclusive media partner.

The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.