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The Peabody Awards on Tuesday unveiled the expansion of its award categories to include storytelling achievements in interactive, immersive and new media categories.
Gaming, virtual and augmented reality, social video, interactive journalism, interactive documentary and transmedia storytelling are among the formats to be recognized.
“The foundation of the Peabody Awards is honoring stories that matter. Significant and incredibly creative storytelling is happening beyond legacy media before our eyes. New storytelling techniques and advancements in technology are surpassing the confines of traditional media,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody, in a statement.
“Creators are pioneering new methods to tell powerful stories and reach new audiences, and the achievements are extraordinary,” he continued. “With the introduction of interactive media as its own distinctive category, we’re thrilled to be recognizing groundbreaking and important narratives in these digital spaces.”
In order to identify exemplary projects of this kind, a group of 10 jurors — known as the Peabody Interactive Board — have been appointed, among them game industry veteran Amy Hennig, who created the action-adventure series Uncharted and is now president of the new media division at Skydance Media.
Film producer Diana Williams, who runs Kinetic Energy Entertainment and is a former LucasFilm exec, will serve as chairwoman of the board. Members include Lars Bastholm, chief creative officer at Story House Egmont; writer and producer Jay Bushman; Aymar Jean Christian, scholar and co-founder of research project Open Television; Katerina Cizek, artistic director and co-founder of Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab; Al Shaw, editor of news applications at ProPublica; Kamal Sinclair, executive director of the Guild of Future Architects; Sara Thacher, creative director and senior R&D Imagineer at Walt Disney Engineering; and Lance Weiler, co-founder and director, Columbia University School of the Arts Digital Storytelling Lab.
“We believe that impactful stories can come from anywhere, in new and evolving forms that push the limits of our understanding of how to tell stories,” said Williams. “This expansion of the Peabody Awards recognizes the variety of storytelling media, and the storytellers who strive to move technology and their audiences into new spaces. Our newly minted board is well-equipped and honored to have first-looks at many of these contributors’ daring ventures.”
Award winners will be announced later this year in a separate event from the traditional ceremony, along with details on the submission calendar and eligibility requirements.
The Peabody Awards were founded in 1940 at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, and honor projects across entertainment, documentary, news, podcast and radio, arts, children’s and youth, public service and multimedia programming.
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