Independent Lens, WNYC and NPR among pubmedia’s 2012 Peabody winners

By Andrew Lapin

Public media outlets and independent producers garnered eight of 40 George Foster Peabody Awards announced today by the University of Georgia. Judges in the 72nd annual Peabody competition selected winners as “the best in electronic media for the year 2012,” including PBS programs presented on Independent Lens, NPR’s coverage of the Syrian conflict and a ProPublica investigation produced with This American Life.

PBS was recognized for the special series Why Poverty?, which included eight feature-length documentaries and many more short films on the subject of income inequality. The series was produced by STEPS, an international nonprofit. Another Peabody went to PBS for the documentary Summer Pasture, a portrait of a Tibetan family that was broadcast as part of Independent Lens.

Michael Apted’s long-running Up documentary series, filmed in Britain but broadcast on PBS in the U.S., received an Institutional Peabody. The most recent edition of the series, 56 Up, now in theatrical film release, will air on Independent Lens in the fall.

Among public radio outlets, New York’s WNYC received awards for its local and national productions: the talk program The Leonard Lopate Show and weekly arts series Studio 360, a co-production with PRI. The latter won for “Inside the National Recording Registry,” a series of short documentaries examining recordings that have been inducted into the Library of Congress.

The Peabody judges recognized NPR News’s reporting on Syria, specifically citing foreign correspondents Kelly McEvers and Deborah Amos.

Peabodies for radio programming were also awarded to “Teen Contender,” a Radio Diaries segment for NPR’s All Things Considered that chronicled the rise of Olympic gold medal boxer Claressa Shields, and “What Happened at Dos Erres,” an episode of This American Life produced in cooperation with ProPublica. ”Dos Erres” was a first-person story examining the 1982 massacre of civilians during the Guatemalan civil war. Both programs also received Third Coast International Audio Festival awards in October 2012.

This item has been updated and reposted with additional information.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that PRI is the distributor of Studio 360. The program is a co-production of PRI and WNYC.

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