Pubcasters receive Peabody Awards for radio, news and podcasts

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Public media swept the radio/podcast category in Peabody Awards announced Tuesday, and PBS NewsHour was recognized in the news category.

NPR News was recognized for an investigative series about the U.S. Army’s testing of mustard gas during World War II on its own soldiers, many of whom were African-American. The series prompted members of Congress to ask the Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans subjected to the tests. Lawmakers also asked Defense Secretary Ash Carter to apologize to the test subjects.

This American Life won a Peabody for “Three Miles,” a look at the benefits of desegregation, weighed against the experience of minority students in schools. Chana Joffe-Walt reported the series. “The two-part broadcast is a bold, honest examination of what can happen when social engineering meets reality,” the award citation said.

And Meet the Composer, a podcast produced by WQXR’s Q2 Music, was honored for “fascinating, intelligent, enlightening podcasts devoted to the work of current classical composers.” WQXR is the classical service of New York City’s WNYC.

In other categories, PBS and WETA in Arlington, Va., were recognized for “Desperate Journey,” a NewsHour series about the refugee crisis in Europe. The series “captured the life and breath of the worst displaced person crisis since World War II,” the citation said.

International pubcasters won awards as well. The CBC/Radio-Canada took part in the award-winning Do Not Track, a series of web videos about the science of cookies and web user tracking. And BBC News, BBC Radio and the BBC World Service won a public service Peabody for coverage of the European migrant crisis.

See the full list of winners. The University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will announce more awards over the next week.

  • As former editor of the Educational Broadcasting Review, the bi-monthly of old NAEB, and former faculty reviewer for Peabodys at University of Georgia, I like seeing UK service, BBC winners. Keep pitching them across the pond.

  • Let’s do it for the NewsHour!!! #PBSNEWS