March 31, 2010
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

NPR WINS TWO PEABODY AWARDS:
NPR.ORG AND REPORTING BY KABUL BUREAU CHIEF
SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON

DIANE REHM ALSO HONORED FOR BODY OF WORK

March 31, 2010; Washington, D.C. NPR is being honored for its comprehensive coverage of Afghanistan and the excellence of its web site, NPR.org, by the 69th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards, it was announced today. Receiving Peabody Awards are NPR's Kabul Bureau Chief Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson for her dedicated attention to the country, its people and the war being fought on its soil, and NPR.org for overall excellence. Diane Rehm, host of NPR's The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU in Washington, is also the recipient of a personal Peabody cited as "the gold standard for civil, civic discourse."

"In recognizing Soraya and NPR.org, the Peabody committee has affirmed the enduring power of first person foreign reporting, and that NPR can be as deeply compelling on digital platforms as we are on air," says Vivian Schiller, NPR's President & CEO. "We are thrilled for these honors, and congratulate our colleague Diane Rehm on her continued dedication to producing the best of public radio."

Cited by the Peabody committee for offering "precise, courageous and often moving accounts," Nelson earns the award for her ongoing coverage of Afghanistan from NPR's permanent bureau in Kabul. Nelson's efforts in the past year include a series on Afghan citizens turning to drugs to escape everyday miseries and the country's limited ability to offer rehabilitation; the story of determined girls breaking societal taboos and facing dangers to pursue an education; and a detailed account of how U.S. Marines struggle to establish trust with locals in order to combat the Taliban. This type of work led the Peabodys to say: "No reporter in any medium gives us a better sense of the variety of life inside Afghanistan." Nelson shares her award with Loren Jenkins, supervising senior foreign editor, and Doug Roberts, foreign desk editor.

NPR.org receives a Peabody Award for its exceptionally rich offerings across the board: in news, arts and life and music. In honoring the website, the committee called it a "model for other organizations," stating: "A whole lot of things considered, from South Park to North Korea, make this one of the great one-stop websites. And there's music you can dance to." NPR.org underwent a massive redesign in the summer of 2009, is continuously on the forefront of mobile technology with NPR Mobile Web and top-rated apps for iPhone and Android and has generously expanded its music offerings through a distinct destination in NPR Music. This award is shared by the entire staff of NPR, led by Vivian Schiller.

With today's announcement, NPR and NPR programming have received a total of 53 Peabody Awards. NPR Member station Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) also receives a Peabody for its "Hard Times" series that followed a dozen citizens of the state as they coped with the recession. The Peabodys, the oldest awards in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. The Peabody Awards recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, Webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. Awards will be presented on May 17 during a ceremony in New York City.