2017 Peabody Award For NPR's Investigation Into Maternal Mortality In The U.S. The winning NPR/ProPublica series probed the alarming increase in maternal deaths in pregnancy and delivery in the United States.
NPR logo 2017 Peabody Award For NPR's Investigation Into Maternal Mortality In The U.S.

2017 Peabody Award For NPR's Investigation Into Maternal Mortality In The U.S.

Wanda Irving holds her granddaughter, Soleil, in front of a portrait of Soleil's mother, Shalon, at her home in Sandy Springs, Ga. Wanda is raising Soleil since Shalon died of complications due to hypertension a few weeks after giving birth. Becky Harlan/NPR hide caption

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Becky Harlan/NPR

Wanda Irving holds her granddaughter, Soleil, in front of a portrait of Soleil's mother, Shalon, at her home in Sandy Springs, Ga. Wanda is raising Soleil since Shalon died of complications due to hypertension a few weeks after giving birth.

Becky Harlan/NPR

Recognition Marks 65th Peabody Award For NPR

Dig Into the Award-Winning Six-Month Investigation on NPR.org

April 24, 2018; Washington, D.C. – A joint investigative series from NPR and ProPublica that probed the alarming increase in maternal deaths in pregnancy and delivery in the United States — particularly among black mothers — has earned a 2017 George Foster Peabody Award.

The series told intimate stories of mothers who experienced life-threatening complications during pregnancy and childbirth after failing to receive the most basic care. Reporting and data analysis revealed that black mothers in the U.S. — no matter their income and education level — die at three to four times the rate of white mothers as a result of inherent discrimination. More than 3,000 women contacted NPR and ProPublica to share their stories, resulting in the first-of-its-kind database of women who died from pregnancy-related complications.

"'Lost Mothers' is vital public service reporting that pushes the standard for vigilance, prevention, and equity in women's health care," the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors said.

The award is shared between NPR special correspondent Renee Montagne, ProPublica's Nina Martin and members of NPR's Investigations team. The NPR reporting team included Nicole Beemsterboer, senior producer; Meg Anderson, production assistant; Barbara Van Woerkom, producer; and Robert Little, senior supervising editor. ProPublica reporter Adriana Gallardo and editor Daniel Golden also contributed to the series. The "Lost Mothers" team has previously been awarded The Goldsmith Prize and the George Polk Award, and was a Pulitzer finalist.

"Lost Mothers" has already spurred legislative action. Referencing the series, lawmakers in New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Indiana, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Connecticut have bills pending or passed laws aimed at reviewing maternal deaths and near-deaths and improving maternal health.

The Peabody Award for the NPR/ProPublica investigation is NPR's 65th nod from the prestigious program recognizing excellence in work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals.

Minnesota Public Radio and Louisville Public Media are among the other public radio Peabody winners for "74 Seconds" and "The Pope's Long Con," respectively. A full list of this year's winners is available at the Peabody Awards website.

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