Molly of Denali; FRONTLINE’s For Sama, Coal’s Deadly Dust, and Flint’s Deadly Water; and WORLD Channel’s Warrior Women recognized for compelling and empowering stories
BOSTON – (May 15, 2020) Boston public media producer WGBH has been recognized with five George Foster Peabody Award nominations for outstanding productions released in 2019. The nominations were received by Molly of Denali, the first nationally-distributed children’s series to feature an Indigenous lead character; FRONTLINE’s For Sama, a gripping, first-person account of one woman’s experience of the Syrian conflict; FRONTLINE’s Flint’s Deadly Water, an investigation that revealed the unreported toll of Flint, Michigan’s water crisis; FRONTLINE’s Coal’s Deadly Dust, which examined the rise of severe black lung disease among coal miners; and WORLD Channel’s Warrior Women, which explores the activist legacy of the American Indian Movement.
Each year, the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors honor the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio and digital media. Peabody Awards are bestowed upon a curated collection of stories that capture society’s most important issues. Sixty nominees were selected from approximately 1,300 entries from television, radio/podcasts, and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, children’s and public service programming. Thirty winners will be named at a later date.
“We are proud that the Peabody Awards’ Board of Jurors has chosen to recognize these important programs, which reflect WGBH’s mission to educate, inspire and foster citizenship,” said WGBH president and CEO Jon Abbott. “As a public media producer, we are committed to representing a diversity of voices and exploring critical topics that might otherwise go overlooked. Congratulations to the teams from FRONTLINE, WORLD Channel and Molly of Denali for this much-deserved honor.”
WGBH’s 2019 Peabody Award Nominees by category are:
Children’s and Youth
● MOLLY OF DENALI. MOLLY OF DENALI is an animated series about 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl who is smart, curious and helps her parents run the Denali Trading Post in interior Alaska. With her dog Suki and best friends Tooey and Trini, Molly adventures through the Alaskan wilderness on dogsled, snowshoe, bush plane, and canoe. Like many kids today, Molly’s conversant with all forms of technology. She also has a vlog where she shares her discoveries with others. MOLLY OF DENALI is the first nationally distributed children’s series to feature an Alaska Native lead character. Over 60 Indigenous writers, advisors, producers and musicians are involved across the production, which is designed to help kids ages 4-8 develop informational text skills through video content, interactive games, and real-world activities.
● FRONTLINE: FOR SAMA. The epic, Academy Award® -nominated feature documentary directed by filmmaker Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts offers a gripping, first-person account of one woman’s experience of the Syrian conflict. Documenting her life over five years of the uprising in rebel-held Aleppo, al-Kateab falls in love, marries one of the last practicing doctors in the city, gives birth to Sama, and says goodbye to her beloved — and besieged — home, all on camera. For Sama aired on FRONTLINE in November 2019 following a decorated theatrical release in the summer of 2019 by PBS Distribution. The feature documentary is produced by Channel 4 News and ITN Productions for Channel 4 and FRONTLINE (PBS).
● WARRIOR WOMEN. During the American Indian Movement, mothers and daughters like Madonna Thunder Hawk and Marcy Gilbert fought for Indigenous rights, protecting families and their way of life. WARRIOR WOMEN explores what it means to balance a movement with motherhood as the activist legacy is passed down from generation to generation in the face of a government that has continually met native resistance with violence. WARRIOR WOMEN premiered on WORLD Channel on March 4, 2019.
● FRONTLINE: COAL’S DEADLY DUST. The FRONTLINE and NPR collaborative investigation examines the rise of severe black lung disease among coal miners, and the failure to respond. From Academy-Award nominated filmmaker Elaine McMillion Sheldon and NPR correspondent Howard Berkes, Coal’s Deadly Dust revealed the biggest disease clusters ever documented, and how the industry and the government failed to protect miners.
● FRONTLINE: FLINT’S DEADLY WATER. FRONTLINE’s September 2019 investigation produced and directed by Abby Ellis and her reporting team — Kayla Ruble, Jacob Carah and Sarah Childress — exclusively revealed the unreported toll of Flint, Michigan’s water crisis. Drawing from a two-year investigation, Flint’s Deadly Water documents an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease during the water crisis that has continued to claim lives in the city five years after the crisis began. The documentary exposes how the outbreak happened, why it continued for more than a year before state officials alerted the public — and the consequences of that delay for the people of Flint. The documentary was honored with a Scripps Howard Award earlier this year.
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. WGBH’s television channels include WGBH 2, WGBX 44, and the digital channels World and Create. WGBH TV productions focusing on the region’s diverse community include Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show®. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston’s Local NPR®; 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station. WGBH also is a major source of digital content and programs for public radio through PRX, including The World and Innovation Hub, a leader in educational multimedia with PBS LearningMedia™, providing the nation’s educators with free, curriculum-based digital content, and a pioneer in services that make media accessible to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired audiences. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards and Oscars. Find more information at wgbh.org.