Friday, April 8, 2005
Nashville's Channel 5, WTVF, won a prestigious Peabody Award this week for its three-year "Friends in High Places"
investigation into the awarding of hundreds of millions of dollars in
state conracts to friends of then-governor Don Sundquist. So far, the
awards committee noted, the investigation has resulted in three federal
indictments and one conviction.
Considered the electronic media counterpart to the Pulitzer Prizes, the
Peabody Awards are made in national, international and local news and
entertainment categories. ("The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" was
another winner--for a second time--for its election coverage.) Here's the full list.
National journalism awards included one to CBS 60 Minutes II for the
story that broke the news of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse. The New York Times
said the award raised eyebrows. The Abu Ghraib story was produced by
Mary Mapes and reported by Dan Rather, the same team that several
months later produced a flawed report on President Bush's National
Guard service, relying on fraudulent documents. Mapes was fired as a
result, and Rather decided to retire from his anchor chair earlier than
planned. A Peabody spokesman said the two stories were unrelated, and
that the Abu Ghraib report was deserving as "one of the most important
stories of the year and was one of the crucial components of the
ongoing conflict in Iraq."
In radio, WNYC in New York won for its weekly behind-the-news program, On the Media,
syndicated by National Public Radio. The Peabody citation didn't
mention the program's dual-identity as online journalism: Not only is
On the Media delivered as streaming audio on the Web, a few months ago
it became one of the first professionally-produced programs to be
distributed as an MP3-file podcast, as the station describes here.
I've been listening to the program online or by podcast, since I don't
live within range of one of the five Tennessee NPR stations that carry
the program. (For more about podcasting, see my podcast background page.)
In another "old media vs. new media" breakthrough, one of the "print
media" Pulitzer Prizes awarded earlier this week went to a weekly
newspaper's investigative report that actually was released first on
the Web, as pointed out by Cyberjournalist.net complete with an image of the original Web publication, and a call for the Pulitzer board to recognize online journalism.
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7/19/08; 1:04:48 PM.