Peabody Awards, Facebook Reveal Winners of Digital Content Awards

11:35 AM 5/1/2017

by Kimberly Nordyke

The awards will be handed out May 19.

Courtesy of Google Spotlight Stories

The Peabody Media Center and the University of Georgia on Monday revealed the six winners of the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Awards honoring digital content.

The award honors programs that "use 3-D modeling, virtual reality, interactive websites, and video games to address stories covering a range of issues, from torture in prison and childhood cancer to transgender dating and identity."

In its second year, the award is presented to "outstanding stories in digital spaces" selected by a jury comprised of 16 Peabody honor student fellows, under the guidance of the Peabody Awards program, which is based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. The winners will be honored May 19 at a ceremony hosted by Campbell Brown, head of news partnerships at Facebook, at Hotel Eventi in New York. The ceremony also will be streamed via Facebook Live.

"This year’s winners push the boundaries of how digital storytelling can be done in extremely compelling and innovative ways," said Jeffrey Jones, director of the Peabody Awards and Peabody Media Center. "It is exciting to see the new possibilities for bringing meaningful stories to light through the ever-changing affordances of digital technologies, and we are happy to recognize what we see as the best stories being told on these platforms."

A list of winners, along with the Peabody jurors' description of each, follows.

  • Digital Journalism

    “Doctors and Sex Abuse” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

    Multimedia, creative graphics and an intuitive interface explore an investigation into doctors and sexual abuse, setting a new standard for a traditional medium that is increasingly shifting into digital spaces.

  • Interactive Documentary

    “Saydnaya” (Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture)

    Architectural and acoustic modeling provide an unprecedented look — and feel — inside an infamous torture prison in northern Syria while raising awareness in an attempt to end the brutal practice.

  • Mobile

    “Phallaina” (Small Bang Studio, France Télévisions Nouvelles Ecritures and Oikos Agency)

    A unique interpretation of the graphic novel that seamlessly transfers an old art form into digital space through parallax scrolling, mind-bending panel transitions and creative sound design.

  • Virtual Reality/360

    “Pearl” (Google Spotlight Stories with Evil Eye Pictures)

    Using innovative 360-degree format and animation, viewers are fully immersed into the heartwarming story — and theme song — of a father-daughter duo chasing their dreams as told from the perspective of their car.

  • Webisodes

    “Her Story” (Speed of Joy)

    An illuminating web series with narrative weight usually reserved for lengthier formats, “Her Story” follows two trans women navigating relationships and identity in Los Angeles. The result is an important reframing of trans representation in media.

  • Video Games

    “That Dragon, Cancer” (Numinous Games)

    The true, tragic story of a 4-year-old’s lifelong battle with the disease told in a beautifully poetic gameplay environment. Archival voice recordings and interactive exploration guide players through artful reinterpretations of real events for a lesson in empathy and strength.