Peabody Awards, Facebook Partner on New Award Honoring Digital Content

Inheritance - PBS - Frontline - H Publicity - 2016
Courtesy of Frontline

Five winners have been chosen for the inaugural prize, including two 'Frontline' documentaries.

The Peabody Awards has teamed with Facebook to create "a new prize honoring excellence and innovation in digital storytelling."

The honor, dubbed the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award, aims to recognize "stories that matter, educate and inspire social change."

Five winners were selected for 2015:

Ebola Outbreak (Frontline), a look at how the epidemic began using virtual reality technology

Halal in the Family (Sweet 180 Productions), a sitcom parody about an all-American Muslim family that aims to challenge stereotypes

Inheritance (Frontline), an interactive web documentary in which a filmmaker explores the loss of his brother in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 through a collection of items he left behind

Life Is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment), an interactive videogame played in a nonlinear fashion

One Year in Ferguson (St. Louis Public Radio), a "radio/audio-photography retelling" of the story of Michael Brown and Ferguson, Mo.

The Peabody Awards noted that the group has been recognizing various forms of digital content since 2003, but the Futures of Media Award is a a separate award from the main Peabodys.

"I couldn't be more pleased to have Facebook, one of the pre-eminent technology and media companies in the world, as our partner for these awards," said Peabody Awards director Jeffrey P. Jones. "These award winners represent the cutting edge of how stories can be told in digital spaces. Facebook is at the forefront of shaping how we learn about, share, discuss and experience stories such as these."

The winners were chosen by student Peabody Fellows at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. They will be honored May 20 at a luncheon at the Paley Center for Media in New York and again recognized at the Peabody Awards ceremony the following night at Cipriani Wall Street in New York. That ceremony, hosted by Peabody winner Keegan-Michael Key, will air June 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT as a 90-minute special on Pivot. Both events will be streamed on the Peabody's Facebook page via Facebook Live.

The new award is part of a three-year partnership with Facebook.

"The pace of innovation in digital storytelling is inspiring and these winners demonstrate some of the possibilities to leverage new technologies," said Andy Mitchell, director of global news and media partnerships at Facebook. "To partner with Peabody on this award and have all the winners shown on FB Live, one of the many new digital products inspiring this innovation, is an honor."

This year also marks the first Peabody 30, which were selected from a total of 60 finalists. Those winners — chosen in the categories of entertainment and children's programming, documentary and education and news, radio/podcast, web and public service — were announced last month.