ABC News, PBS, Vice News, CBS News Are Nominated for 2021 Peabody Awards

By A.J. Katz 

The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors has selected 60 nominees that represent the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media during 2020.

The nominees were chosen by a unanimous vote of 19 jurors from over 1,300 entries from TV, podcasts/radio and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and multimedia programming. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

30 winners will be named during a virtual celebration in June. Details about the online event will be announced in the coming weeks.


“During an incredibly turbulent and difficult year, these nominees rose to the occasion and delivered compelling and empowering stories,” said Martha Nelson, chair of the Peabody Board of Jurors. “From Covid-19 coverage to poignant explorations of identity, each nominee not only told a powerful story but also made a significant impact on media programming and the cultural landscape. We’re thrilled to recognize their outstanding and inspiring work.”

The nominated programs encompass a wide range of pressing issues, including Covid, voting rights, police violence, immigrant rights, and economic justice. 2020 was a particularly important year for news with 16 nominations coming in that category.

Here are the nominees from national TV news outlets:

  • ABC News 20/20 in collaboration with The Courier Journal: Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor

As the nation continues to seek accountability and justice, this collaborative reporting features personal home videos, new interviews of key players, and police body camera video from the night of Breonna Taylor’s death.

  • PBS Frontline / Battle for Hong Kong

With unique access inside the battle for Hong Kong, Frontline follows five protesters through the most intense clashes over several months of pro-democracy protests against the growing influence of the Communist government in mainland China.

  • CBS News / Bravery and Hope: 7 Days on the Front Line

A team of CBS News journalists, embedded with emergency physicians and critical care specialists at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, gives us an intimate story about the complex ethical decisions of who lives and who dies at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • PBS Frontline / China Undercover

A special undercover report from China’s secretive Xinjiang region, Frontline investigates the Communist regime’s mass imprisonment of Muslims, and its use and testing of sophisticated surveillance technology against the Uyghur community.

  • PBS Frontline: Covid’s Hidden Toll

In this examination of how the Covid crisis has hit vulnerable immigrants and undocumented workers, Frontline follows the pandemic’s invisible victims, including crucial farm and meat-packing workers who lack protections.

  • Sky News: Inside Idlib

Sky News spends 48 hours inside Idlib uncovering evidence of war crimes and humanitarian disasters.

  •  PBS NewsHour Covid-19 Coverage: Global Pandemic / MAKING SENSE: The Victims of the Covid Economy

Two superb pieces of journalism from PBS cover the pandemic globally and nationally, showing the diversity of responses to the pandemic from five continents and the impact of the pandemic on the US economy and its workers, including hard hit sectors such as retail, restaurants, and African American-owned businesses.

  • PBS NewsHour: Desperate Journey

This remarkable two-part series documents the extraordinary journey of migrants as they traverse the hostile jungles of Southern Panama on foot. The reporting highlights the global migration crisis and the dangerous lengths people go to as they seek a better life.

  • PBS Frontline: Policing the Police 2020

In the wake of racial justice protests over the killing of George Floyd, reporter Jelani Cobb returns to a troubled police department he first visited four years ago to examine whether reform can work, and how police departments can be held accountable.

  • BBC News: Undercover in the Schools that Chain Boys

A skillful and impactful investigation uncovering systemic child abuse and evidence of sexual abuse inside Islamic schools in Sudan.

  • Vice News on Showtime: Losing Ground

A smart look at the little-known issue of “heirs property,” reporter Alzo Slade examines how many black landowners lose their homesteads due to legal loopholes often exploited by white developers.

  • PBS Frontline, Columbia Journalism Investigations, USA Today Network: Whose Vote Counts

Jelani Cobb reports on allegations of voter disenfranchisement, how unfounded claims of extensive voter fraud entered the political mainstream, rhetoric and realities around mail-in ballots, and the pandemic’s impact on voter turnout in the 2020 election.