Latino USA Also Honored for "Gangs, Murder and Migration in Honduras"
April 20, 2015; Washington, D.C. – The NPR News Reporting From The Frontlines: The Ebola Outbreak coverage has been honored with a George Foster Peabody Award, one year after the public media organization led early and exceptionally deep coverage of the infectious outbreak in West Africa. NPR's Latino USA is also a winner in the Radio/Podcast category for Gangs, Murder and Migration in Honduras, an episode that examined the many reasons driving contemporary migration from Honduras, a country in crisis.
Beginning in April of 2014, NPR News was one of the first U.S. media organizations on the ground in Guinea reporting on the intensifying impact of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. World health officials hesitated as the horror unfolded and they grappled with limited data on the poorly understood disease. It remained unclear why the outbreak was spreading so quickly, and NPR mobilized unprecedented resources to punctuate the enormity of the suffering and the larger, global consequences of the growing epidemic. By the year's end, NPR News had filed more than 200 stories about the disease which had reached nine countries, including the United States, and at least 20,000 people had been infected.
"NPR jumped in head-first to illuminate the alarming magnitude of the outbreak, despite breathtaking logistical complexities and considerable risk," says NPR News acting Senior Vice President Christopher Turpin. "This exceptional coverage was made possible by a collaborative effort that involved every corner of the NPR newsroom, as well as our Member Station colleagues. I am in awe and deeply proud of a team of amazing journalists, who brought such extraordinary expertise, perspective and humanity to our coverage."
Ultimately, more than 100 NPR network and Member Station journalists positioned in West Africa, Washington, D.C., Dallas, New York and Europe probed every issue and event that called for scrutiny. Through compelling sound, visuals and text, their reports conveyed vivid, first-hand accounts of families wiped out, children left to die alone, villages decimated and the ongoing suffering of survivors left ostracized by their communities. They also highlighted the growing urgency for a combined global strategy to combat the outbreak, cut through the international media hysteria to spell out the real risks and demanded accountability for those who mismanaged resources, deflected responsibility and equivocated around aid.
In the midst of the darkness, NPR's incisive and cutting-edge reporting not only helped unravel and make sense of the epidemic, it also spotlighted moments of hope: From profiles of young nurses and body collectors who put aside their fears to help save their countries, to the story of a three year old orphan who, after becoming so attached to his nurse, proposed to her. NPR also cultivated close relationships with epidemiologists, virologists, public health experts and computer modelers to get ahead of the outbreak, and it was the first to report that the World Health Organization had embraced the value of a serum from Ebola survivors as a treatment.
The Peabody Award for Reporting From The Frontlines: The Ebola Outbreak is NPR's 62nd from the prestigious program that recognizes excellence in work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. A full list of this year's winners is available at the Peabody Awards website.
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NPR Media Relations: Cara Philbin
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org