George Foster Peabody Awards for 2009

Between the Folds, about origami Jerome Robbins Order of Myths
Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson Peabody medal Diane Rehm
Frontline: Madoff Affair Mind the Gap

Producers for public broadcasting — and developers for its websites — received 14 Peabody Awards, announced March 31, 2010

Regarding websites, the judges honored two in public media:

  • Sesame Street’s (“prodigious adaptability . . . delightfully educational, interactive,” the Peabody announcement said) website
  • NPR’s (“one of the great one-stop websites. And there’s music you can dance to”) website

Peabodys went to six PBS programs — double the number won by any other organization:

“Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About,” about the great New York choreographer, from WNET/American Masters, produced and directed by Judy Kinberg, with Susan Lacy, e.p. — website

“The Madoff Affair” from RAINmedia and WGBH/Frontline, written and produced by Marcela Gaviria and Martin Smith, edited by Jordan Montminy, with Chris Durrance, co-producer — website, watch online

two films on Independent Lens

  • “The Order of Myths,” about the black and white Mardi Gras traditions of Mobile, Ala., by Margaret Brown, with Folly River Inc., Netpoint Productions, Lucky Hat Entertainment and ITVS (“highly original, moving and insightful”) — website
  • “Between the Folds” from Green Fuse Films and ITVS about the art of paper-folding (“makes you gasp at the possibilities — of paper and of human creativity”) — website

“Endgame,” a dramatization of secret talks that helped end apartheid in South Africa, from Daybreak/Channel 4/Target Entertainment, presented on WGBH’s Masterpiece Contemporary website

“Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times,” from KCET, Los Angeles (“drama enough for several feature films”), written, directed and produced by Peter Jones, with Brian Tessier, supervising producer, and exec in charge, Bohdan Zacharywebsite

KCET also scored with with its regional broadcast SoCal Connected—specifically two reports on the medical-marijuana conflict (“lively, eye-opening coverage”)—“Up in Smoke” by correspondent Judy Muller, producer Karen Foshay and editor Alberto Arce, and  “Cannabis Cowboys” by reporter John Larson, producer Rick Wilkinson, editor Michael Bloecher, and associate producer Alexandria Gales. SoCal Connected’s e.p. is Bret Marcus and senior producer, Justine Schmidtwebsite

In radio, the jury gave a personal award to Diane Rehm, host of WAMU-FM’s NPR-distributed Diane Rehm Show (“the gold standard for civil, civic discourse”) for more than 30 years — website

Radio work won four additional Peabodys:

the documentary “The Great Textbook War” from Trey Kay Productions and West Virginia Public Broadcasting download from PRX

“Mind the Gap: Why Good Schools Are Failing Black Students,” by independent producer Nancy Solomon for public radio — website, download audio

Hard Times a series of documentary reports from Oregon’s OPB Radio following a selection of ordinary people affected by the recession (“smart, compassionate radio coverage”) — website, audio

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson’s coverage of the Afghanistan War for NPR (“No reporter in any medium gives us a better sense of the variety of life inside Afghanistan”). Nelson shared the award with Loren Jenkins, supervising senior foreign editor, and Doug Roberts, foreign desk editor — audio of her reports

The awards, administered by the University of Georgia’s j-school, will be presented May 17 at a luncheon emceed by Diane Sawyer at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

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