It was ABC's coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks and their immediate aftermath that stood out from among many TV news networks in the eyes of Peabody Award judges. On radio, National Public Radio was the big winner, cited for 9/11 coverage "that enabled audiences to mourn and reflect on those unsettled days."
Although the Peabody's selection of one particular TV network's coverage may have surprised and pleased some while disappointing others, it was no surprise that 9/11 coverage was part of five different awards. CNN won an award for its Beneath the Veil
and Unholy War; NBC, for its Third Watch
telling emergency workers' stories. And an award was presented to all the broadcast and that cable networks participated in America: A Tribute to Heroes.
The recently embattled ABC News division got another boost when Peabody judges honored Nightline. The program almost lost its spot in the ABC lineup to David Letterman's near-defection from CBS. ABC News President David Westin said the program, which recently passed 22 years on the air, "could receive no finer anniversary present."
Said Peabody Director Horace Newcomb, "The board members were aware of the controversies. The board is always conscious of the larger world of television and concerned with the general. The significance of this award is pretty much what people want to read into it."
The full list of winners can be found at http://www.peabody.uga.edu/news/61thwinners.html. Among them:
Overall excellence, WGBH-TV Boston; 60 Minutes II: Memories of a Massacre, CBS News; Anne Frank, Touchstone Television, ABC; American Masters: F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams, WNET-TV New York,PBS; Jazz Profiles, NPR; The Bernie Mac Show,Regency Television, 20th Century Fox; Little Bill, Nickelodeon; Blue's Clues, Nickelodeon; The Cliburn: Playing on the Edge, Peter Rosen Productions Inc., KERA-TV Dallas; ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre: Talking Heads II: Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet; BBC, PBS; The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, Cinemax; Conspiracy, HBO, BBC; Visions of Vine Street, WCPO-TV Cincinnati; Band of Brothers, HBO; Wit, HBO; Hell in the Pacific , The Learning Channel; and The First Year, Teachers Documentary Project, PBS.