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For immediate release
April 9, 2001
Jessamyn Sarmiento ,

National Public Radio Wins Two Peabody Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C. - National Public RadioŽ (NPRŽ) has won two George Foster Peabody Awards for broadcast excellence in 2000. The awards were given for The NPR 100, an NPR produced series of features highlighting the most important 20th century American musical works, and Witness to an Execution, a radio documentary produced by Sound Portraits Productions that aired on NPR and detailed witness accounts of executions in Texas. NPR has won 37 Peabody Awards in its 31-year history, including last year's Peabody Institutional Award for Morning EditionŽ with Bob Edwards.

Throughout 2000, The NPR 100 series highlighted the stories behind 100 of the most significant American musical works of the 20th century. The series aired on NPR's All Things ConsideredŽ, Morning Edition with Bob Edwards and NPR's weekend newsmagazine programs. Featured music came from a wide variety of genres, including classical, jazz, rock and roll, country, rhythm and blues, gospel, film scores and musical theatre. The musical works that made the series include Give My Regards to Broadway by George M. Cohan, Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan, Mood Indigo By Duke Ellington, Take My Hand, Precious Lord, By Thomas A. Dorsey, Rhapsody In Blue, By George Gershwin, and A Love Supreme, By John Coltrane.

"Witness to an Execution," a documentary produced by Sound Portraits Productions under the direction of MacArthur Fellow David Isay and lead producer Stacy Abramson, aired on All Things Considered from NPR News in October 2000. The documentary presents an extraordinary story told by the men and women who participate in or witness executions at The Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas, where all death sentences are carried out for the state of Texas. The program, narrated by a prison warden, has brought the third Peabody Award for Sound Portraits, a New York-based independent production company. Sound Portraits creates long- and short-form radio feature programming for NPR News magazines All Things Considered and Weekend EditionŽ.

The NPR selections are among 34 winners that were announced March 29 by the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Peabodys, among the most prestigious awards for broadcasting and cable excellence, are given solely on merit rather than within designated categories. Judging is done by a 15-person national advisory board including broadcast and cable industry executives, experts in culture and fine arts, television critics and scholars. This year's winners were chosen from nearly 1,100 entries and will be honored at the May 21 awards presentation in New York.

Renowned for its journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, NPR serves a growing audience of 16.3 million Americans each week via more than 644 public radio stations. NPR Online at brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network, and throughout Japan via cable.