ATHENS, Georgia, April 2, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-five recipients of the 67h Annual Peabody Awards were announced today by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for 2007, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia Campus. Recipients included "The Colbert Report," Comedy Central's cable-news satire, and "A Journey Across Afghanistan: Opium and Roses," a documentary from Bulgaria's Balkan News Corporation (bTV). "Whole Lotta Shakin," the Texas Heritage Music Foundation's rollicking public-radio series chronicling the 1950s heyday of rockabilly music received the award, as did "Univision's Ya Es Hora," a public-service campaign that taught legal aliens how to apply for American citizenship. The entertainment series selected included "30 Rock," Tina Fey's hilarious send-up of TV sketch shows and her own network, NBC; and "Project Runway," Bravo's fashion-designer competition. Peabodys also went to "Mad Men," AMC's richly detailed and evocative drama set in the world of New York advertising in the early 1960s, and "Dexter," Showtime's dark, challenging drama about a serial killer who preys on other sociopaths. The sweet, sensitive "Nimrod Nation" received a Peabody. This beautifully shot, eight-part documentary series from Sundance Channel takes viewers into the heart of a small Michigan town. "The range of genres, the variety of topics and the consistently high quality of submissions for Peabody consideration indicated again that amazing work is being done in electronic media," said Horace Newcomb, Director of the Peabody Awards. "The Peabody Board labored through many hours of discussion and deliberation to select these works from among more than a thousand outstanding entries." Peabodys went to "Wounds of War - The Long Road Home for Our Nation's Veterans," a series of moving reports by ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff, himself a recovering Iraq War casualty, about the struggles of veterans dealing with severe war injuries and stress. "CBS News Sunday Morning: The Way Home" captured a Peabody for Kimberly Dozier's powerful piece about two women veterans who lost limbs in Iraq. Like Woodruff, Dozier survived a near-fatal attack while on assignment in Iraq. Another CBS News series, "60 Minutes," was awarded a Peabody for "The Killings in Haditha," a Scott Pelley report that questioned the conventional wisdom about the worst single killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers since Vietnam. Discovery's "Planet Earth," a majestic use of HDTV technology showcasing natural wonders of the world, was honored, as was "Independent Lens" for "Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life," an expansive portrait of Duke Ellington's musical collaborator. "NATURE: Silence of the Bees," an inquiry into the unsettling decline in the world's honeybee population from Thirteen/WNET, and WGBH-Boston's "Design Squad," an engineering competition for young people, further indicate the variety of this year's recipients. The awards will be presented on June 16 at a luncheon at the Waldorf- Astoria Hotel in New York City. Brian Williams, the distinguished anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News," will be the master of ceremonies. "Taxi to the Dark Side," a horrifying documentary about an Afghani cabbie who died in U.S. military custody, added a Peabody to its list of awards, which already included an Oscar. "Taxi" raised disturbing questions about interrogation techniques and U.S. wartime policies. Awards also went to "Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial," a "NOVA" installment focused on controversies surrounding the teaching of evolution in public schools, and "mtvU: Half of Us," a public-service campaign and supportive website for college students struggling with depression. "As always," Newcomb said, "it was exciting to discover deeply serious work in entertainment, entertaining work in documentaries, education in news reports and thoughtful perspectives on the news in everything from game shows to parody. The Peabody Awards, in all their diverse and innovative examples, are models for what can and should be done across the board." The array of worthy documentaries was again impressive. In "Sisters in Law," another installment of "Independent Lens," two sisters, one the court president, the other the prosecutor, dominate a small-town courthouse in Cameroon. "Cheney's Law," from "Frontline," explored the rationale and implementation of the current Vice President's three-decade campaign to expand the power of the presidency. Arts and crafts were represented by "Art:21 - Art in the 21st Century," where four artists speak eloquently about their "protest" art, and by "Craft in America: Memory, Landscape and Community," an exquisite, insightful tour of furniture makers, quilters, weavers and other craft-artists, classic and modern. In a strong year for local television news, Dallas' WFAA-TV was especially potent, earning a Peabody for four reports that underscored its commitment to investigative work: "Money for Nothing" revealed slipshod lending practices by the U.S. Export-Import Bank. "The Buried and the Dead" raised questions about the state of Texas' oversight on the gas pipeline industry. "Television Justice" looked into a dubiously cozy relationship between a "To Catch a Predator" unit of "NBC Dateline" and the police in Murphy, Texas. And "Kinder Prison" explored a Homeland Security prison holding immigrant families near Austin, Texas. A Peabody went to "Security Risks at Sky Harbor," from KNXV-TV in Phoenix, an expose of frighteningly lax baggage screening at the city's main airport. Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV's "Fight for Open Records," a series of reports about improprieties in Pennsylvania's state-run student loan agency, received a Peabody. These reports were made possible by a successful -- and well-explained -- legal battle to obtain the agency's ostensibly public records. An Award also went to "Virginia Tech Shootings: The First 48 Hours," from WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Va., for two intense days of live, exhaustive and remarkably calm coverage of the April 16 killing spree. In addition to the Texas Heritage Foundation's rockabilly retrospective, Peabody-winning radio programming included "The MTT Files," an eight-part American Public Media series in which Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, provided fascinating insights into the work of composers from Igor "Firebird Suite" Stravinsky to James "Cold Sweat" Brown. A Peabody went to "Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi," from American Public Media. This edition of the long-running series explored resurgent interest in the 13th century Persian poet. "The Brian Lehrer Show," from New York's WNYC, was cited for being true "community-building radio," a shrewd blend of news analysis, civil conversation and call-ins that brings together the city's wildly diverse citizenry. "Just Words," from the Center for Emerging Media, was honored for 55 four-minute documentary pieces, broadcast on Baltimore's WYPR-FM and other stations. The reports give personal voice to issues such as homelessness, drug abuse and youth violence. "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!," a live and very lively weekly quiz show that draws on and has fun with the latest news events, from National Public Radio, Chicago Public Radio and Urgent Haircut Productions, was also awarded a Peabody. "White Horse," a beautiful and probing feature segment of BBC America's nightly newscast was recognized for illustrating the human and environmental toll of the Chinese government's massive efforts to modernize its hinterlands. A Peabody went to "CNN Presents: God's Warriors," a three-part, six-hour documentary series that examined the rise and impact of fundamentalism in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The HBO documentary "To Die in Jerusalem" received a Peabody. This heartbreaking consideration of the Israeli-Palestine conflict followed two mothers who lost their respective teenage daughters, one a suicide bomber, the other one of her victims. The Peabody Board is a 16-member group, comprised of television critics, broadcast and cable industry executives and experts in culture and the arts, that judges the entries. Selection is made by the board following review by special screening committees of UGA faculty, students and staff. The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, do not recognize categories nor are there a set number of awards given each year. Today the Peabody recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals. All entries become a permanent part of the Peabody Archive in the University of Georgia Libraries. The collection is one of the nation's oldest, largest and most respected moving-image archives. For more information about the Peabody Archive or the Peabody Awards, visit www.peabody.uga.edu. Graphics Available Peabody Images: available at www.peabody.uga.edu and clicking on events and news COMPLETE LIST OF 2007 PEABODY AWARD WINNERS 30 Rock Universal Media Studios in association with Broadway Video Television and Little Stranger Inc. Tina Fey's creation is not only a great workplace comedy in the tradition of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," complete with fresh, indelible secondary characters, but also a sly, gleeful satire of corporate media, especially the network that airs it. Art:21 - Art in the 21st Century Art:21, Inc. Trusting artists to speak for themselves and viewers to "get" what they talk about, the PBS series provides a unique forum for the display, analysis and appreciation of myriad forms of contemporary visual art. Speaking of Faith: The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi American Public Radio Delving into the "adventurous, cosmopolitan" Islam of a 13th century Persian poet now enjoying revival worldwide, this public-radio series continues to illuminate connections among people of all faiths. Bob Woodruff Reporting: Wounds of War - The Long Road Home of Our Nation's Veterans ABC News Severely injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, Woodruff made wounded veterans and their struggle with recovery and red tape his special focus and served them well with his sensitive, dogged reporting. Money for Nothing, The Buried and the Dead, Television Justice, Kinder Prison WFAA-TV The Dallas station distinguished itself with not one but four investigative series in 2007, probing dubious practices by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the Texas Railroad Commission, a police department that got too cozy with a TV sexual-predator sting operation and a Homeland Security Prison holding immigrant families. Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial NOVA/WGBH Educational Foundation, Vulcan Productions Inc., The Big Table Film Company The centerpiece of this thoughtful, topical edition of NOVA was the recreation, verbatim, of key testimony and argument from a six-week trial in Pennsylvania that served as a crash course in modern evolutionary theory, the evidence for evolution and the nature of science. Whole Lotta Shakin' Texas Heritage Music Foundation A red-hot retrospective of rockabilly music, this 10-part series distributed by Public Radio International blended rare interviews, archival radio broadcasts and foot-stomping tunes by obscure practitioners as well as legends such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. White Horse BBC World News America, BBC America, BBC World Uncommonly beautiful for a nightly news feature, but no less trenchant for being artful, it captured a rustic, sleepy inland village on the verge of obliteration by the Chinese government in its attempt to further the country's economic miracle. Just Words The Center for Emerging Media Mark Steiner's 55 weekly radio reports, four minutes each, gave voice to marginalized people -- low-wage workers, recovering drug addicts, the homeless -- who rarely get to speak for themselves in the mainstream media and, in doing so, made common social issues immediate and personal. CNN Presents: God's Warriors CNN In six hours over three nights, CNN explored how rising fundamentalist disenchantment with the modern, secular world has affected Judaism, Islam and Christianity in sometimes similar but also different ways. Dexter Showtime, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions With a premise that questions our fondness for avenging heroes -- a serial killer who channels his dark urges into police forensics and the killing of other sociopaths -- this Showtime series is a masterful psychological thriller and a complex and ambiguous meditation on morality. Planet Earth Discovery Channel, BBC Awesome, spectacular, humbling, exhilarating -- pick your effusive adjective -- the 11-part series documented the natural wonders of our world, some familiar, others never before seen, in stunning high-definition clarity. CBS News Sunday Morning: The Way Home CBS News Two unflinchingly candid women who lost limbs while serving in the military in Iraq were the centerpiece of this powerful, thought-provoking report by correspondent Kimberly Dozier, a recovering war casualty herself. Fight for Open Records WTAE-TV The Pittsburgh station's relentless legal campaign to obtain public records of a state-run student loan program netted evidence of financial misconduct and pushed the state to rewrite an antiquated right-to-know law. To Die in Jerusalem HBO Documentary Films in association with Priddy Brothers The anguish of the Israeli-Palestine conflict was embodied in this frank documentary about two mothers who lost their respective teenaged daughters, one a suicide bomber, the other her victim. Design Squad WGBH Educational Foundation Created to inspire boys and girls in their 'tweens and teens to consider an engineering profession, this lively, fast-paced series puts an educational emphasis into the reality-competition television format. Craft in America: Memory, Landscape and Community Craft in America Inc. This three-hour chronicle of America's rich, ongoing traditions of weaving, quilting, woodworking and other craft art was as carefully wrought and as beautifully shot as its subject matter. Univision's Ya Es Hora Univision Communications More than a million legal Hispanic immigrants sought U.S. citizenship as the result of Univision's multi-faceted campaign to explain the benefits and responsibilities of becoming citizens and how to go about applying. NATURE: Silence of the Bees Partisan Pictures, Inc., Thirteen/WNET New York The first in-depth investigation of an alarming, world-wide die-off of honeybees, this documentary underscored the critical role of these pollinators to our food supply and surveyed the forensics that have yet to solve the mystery. A Journey Across Afghanistan: Opium and Roses Balkan News Corporation - bTV Surprising and visually distinctive, this Bulgarian news network's road trip yielded a rare, everyday Afghan perspective on the fighting between Taliban and western troops, while revealing fascinating efforts to supplant the growing of opium poppies with rose bushes to produce rose oil. The MTT Files American Public Media, San Francisco Symphony Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas brought his wealth of knowledge and idiosyncratic insight to bear on subjects as diverse as Igor "Firebird" Stravinsky and James "Cold Sweat" Brown in this delightful, surprising public-radio series. Project Runway Bravo, The Weinstein Company, The Magical Elves, Full Picture A series that redeems the reality-contest genre, this face-off competition among upstart fashion designers demands, displays and ultimately rewards creativity that can't be bluffed. Taxi to the Dark Side Jigsaw Pictures, Tall Woods, Wider Film, ZDF/ARTE The brutal death of an Afghani cab driver while in U.S. military custody gave director Alex Gibney the central thread of his searing exploration of detainee interrogation techniques and who, ultimately, bears responsibility. Security Risks at Sky Harbor KNXV-TV This Phoenix station's unnerving expose of outrageous lapses in baggage-screening at the city's main airport shook up the Transportation Security Administration all the way to Washington, D.C. Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me! National Public Radio, Chicago Public Radio, Urgent Haircut Productions A zippy update of one of broadcasting's long-ago staples, this live quiz show reminds listeners of the week's news even as host Peter Sagal and various panelists make witty sport of it. Independent Lens: Sisters in Law Vixen Films, Independent Television Service (ITVS) Directors Kim Longinotto and Florence Ayisi make viewers flies on the wall of a small-town courthouse in Cameroon overseen by two dynamic, wisecracking, larger-than-life sisters - one the court's president, the other its state prosecutor - who are helping women stand up to abuse. Virginia Tech Shooting: The First 48 Hours WSLS-TV Covering the worst mass shooting in United States history and its immediate aftermath, the news staff of this station in Roanoke, Virginia, demonstrated knowledge of their community, mastery of their journalistic craft and remarkable, much-needed calm. The Brian Lehrer Show: Radio That Builds Community Rather Than Divides WNYC Radio Lehrer's talk show is a wide open yet shrewdly managed forum in which every sort of political, social and cultural issue is considered and where New Yorkers, in all their diversity, can get to know each other. Nimrod Nation Sundance Channel, Public Road Productions, Wieden and Kennedy The subject of Brett Morgen's lyrical, unhurried, eight-part exploration of small town life is Watersmeet, Michigan, a folksy hamlet reminiscent of Mayberry and Lake Wobegone, but undeniably, hearteningly real. FRONTLINE: Cheney's Law FRONTLINE, Kirk Documentary Group, Ltd., WGBH-Boston In a strongly researched and reported hour that sometimes played like a political thriller, "FRONTLINE" traced the Bush Administration's expansion of Presidential wartime powers to a determined, secretive campaign by the Vice President, that stretches back three decades. mtvU: Half of Us mtvU Responding to studies that have shown that nearly half of all college students have experienced bouts of disabling depression, mtvU created an impressive, multi-platform campaign that includes public-service spots and a comprehensive website where students can get information, advice, even upbeat music. Independent Lens: Billy Strayhorn - Lush Life Robert Levi Films, Independent Television Service (ITVS) Along with celebrating the work of the often overlooked arranger and composer ("Take the 'A' Train") who was crucial to Duke Ellington's sound and success, the documentary sensitively explored the homophobia that kept Strayhorn in the shadows. CBS News 60 Minutes: The Killings in Haditha CBS News, 60 Minutes This thorough, open-minded investigation of the worst single killing of civilians by American troops since Vietnam put not just the incident into better perspective but the entire Iraq War and the terrible choices it presents both soldier and civilian. Mad Men AMC, Lionsgate Pictures Television The way they were on Madison Avenue, in the Manhattan towers and the bedroom communities of New York, circa 1960, is recalled in rich detail and a haze of cigarette smoke in this exemplary period dramatic series. The Colbert Report Hello Doggie Inc., Busboy Productions, and Spartina Productions Let none dare call it "truthiness." Colbert, in his weeknight Comedy Central send-up of politics and all that is bombastic and self-serving in cable-news bloviasion, has come into his own as one of electronic media's sharpest satirists.
SOURCE Peabody Awards