Richard Engel, Ed Lavandera Earn 2020 Peabody Awards

By A.J. Katz 

The Peabody Awards announced its 2020 winners this week. The iconic actress Cicely Tyson was named winner of the Peabody Career Achievement Award on Monday, and the rest of the organization’s 2020 winners were announced that afternoon.

NBC News earned two wins in the news category: one for A Different Kind of Force: Policing Mental Illness (produced by Ed Ou and NBC Digital) and one for Richard Engel‘s reporting on the U.S. decision to abandon its traditional allies the Kurds, titled American Betrayal. The story aired on Engel’s MSNBC program, On Assignment with Richard Engel.

CNN also earned two Peabodys this year. The CNN Film Apollo 11 received a Peabody in the documentary category. CNN correspondent Ed Lavandera won a Peabody for The Hidden Workforce: Undocumented in America. For this CNN Special Report, Lavandera visited rural communities in Minnesota, Iowa and New Jersey transformed by immigrants (many undocumented) to explore the new landscape. Interviews with both labor and business about how and why the workforce has changed showed how immigrants help businesses and communities thrive and survive.

The Peabody Awards, which honor most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and digital media during the prior year, announced 30 winners out of 1,300 submissions from television, radio/podcasts and the web across the genres of entertainment, news, documentary, children’s and public service programming.

The winners are voted on by 19 jurors.

Of the 30 winners, PBS earned the most with seven, followed by HBO and Netflix with four each, and CNN and NBC with two. First-time winners Apple TV+ and OWN join Amazon Prime, Lifetime and Hulu with one award each. Additional winning platforms include APM, BBC Sounds, Montana Public Radio, Newsday, WBBM Chicago and WNYC Studios.

This year’s ceremony was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.