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GMA News wins Peabody Award for coverage of super typhoon Yolanda

April 2, 2014 11:53pm
GMA News' special coverage of super typhoon Yolanda earned one of the 46 Peabody Awards for 2013, the award-giving body announced on Wednesday.

It is the fourth time for GMA Network to win a coveted Peabody Award, the broadcast and electronic media equivalent of the print media's Pulitzer Prizes.

“Facing logistical challenges and sharing in the national shock in the face of what may have been the most powerful typhoon in history, GMA news teams provided desperately needed spot news coverage and information, gaining strength and perspective as they worked, and followed up with solid reporting on the aftermath, heroic acts and relief efforts,” the Peabody Awards board said of GMA News' Yolanda coverage.

The awards are administered by the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Winning requires a unanimous vote from the 16-member board.

GMA Network previously won Peabody Awards for its investigative reporting for I-Witness episodes on "Kidneys for Sale" and "Kamao" (Jessica Soho) and Brigada Siete's child labor report (Jay Taruc). The network also bagged the prestigious award for its "Ambulansya de Paa" episode of I-Witness (Kara David) and "Salat" episode of Reel Time.

GMA is the only news and public affairs organization in the country to have received this prestigious award for excellence in broadcast journalism.

The winners will be honored at a ceremony in New York on May 19.

Other winners

Netflix political thriller "House of Cards" and jail house comedy-drama "Orange Is the New Black," along with a trio of HBO documentaries, headlined the winners of the annual Peabody Awards, the oldest and one of the most prestigious honors in broadcasting.

Public broadcaster PBS won 12 awards, including one for "League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis" about football's long-term health risks and "Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy," which examined the Jewish roots of American musical theater.

"House of Cards," which was the first online-streaming show to win an Emmy award, was praised for Netflix's unique approach of releasing all the season's episodes at once.

"Netflix took binge viewing to a new level and obliterated the idea that a hit TV show needs a slot in prime time," the Peabody panel said.

Netflix Inc's "Orange Is the New Black," about a bisexual woman reunited with her ex-lover in prison, was lauded for its "complex, riveting character study rich in insights about femininity, race, power, and the politics, inside and outside prison walls, of mass incarceration."

Alex Gibney's documentary, "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," about a Catholic priest who sexually abused hundreds of deaf children earned a Peabody for HBO.

The Time Warner Inc-owned premium cable network also picked up awards for documentaries "Six by Sondheim," on musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim and "Life According to Sam," about a teenager with the early onset aging disease progeria.

The Peabody panel, which also honors international and local programs, awarded a prize to Boston's WBZ-TV and WBZ Newsradio for their "non-sensational coverage" of last year's Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent manhunt.

Other notable winners include Comedy Central's racially incisive sketch comedy show "Key & Peele," AMC drug drama "Breaking Bad" and ABC's political thriller "Scandal" about a Washington, D.C. fixer.

Also honored were Danish political drama "Borgen," and the Pakistani animated series "Burka Avenger" about female empowerment.

Longtime NBC news reporter and anchor Tom Brokaw, 74, was given an individual Peabody Award for career achievement and in particular for the his work on long-form news reports after leaving the "NBC Nightly News" program in 2004.

A 16-member board of critics, experts, and news and entertainment industry insiders select the winners of the annual awards handed out by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  — with Reuters/ELR/KG/VC, GMA News
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