Newtown TV Coverage, ‘Girls’ Win Peabody Awards

'Girls' (Photo: HBO)

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A local TV station’s coverage of the Connecticut school massacre, the HBO drama “Girls,” and a public-service campaign about “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts’ medical battle were among 39 Peabody Award winners announced Wednesday.

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Recipients of the 72nd annual Peabody Awards were announced by the University of Georgia’s journalism school. They were chosen by the Peabody board as the best electronic media works of 2012.

Connecticut station WVIT-TV won an award for its “quick response and comprehensive coverage” of the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Other winners for journalistic works included ABC News for its coverage of Superstorm Sandy. The network embedded a reporting team with a family in Breezy Point, N.Y., according to a description of the winning entries.

Documentaries receiving awards included “MLK: The Assassination Tapes,” which aired on the Smithsonian Channel. The film was “painstakingly configured” from rare footage collected at the University of Memphis in 1968. It covers events leading up to the murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and its aftermath.

Game Change,” an HBO film about Sarah Palin’s rise to the national political spotlight, also won a Peabody.

International winners include “Rapido y Furioso,” a Univision program examining the “Fast and Furious” federal law enforcement operation targeting gun trafficking in the U.S. and Mexico. From Canada, the documentary “Under Fire: Journalists in Combat” explored the mindset of war correspondents and the dangers of their occupation.

Entertainment winners included the FX series “Louie;” TNT’s “Southland” police drama; and the ABC family drama “Switched at Birth.”

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The entries represent “an astonishing array of outstanding media accomplishment,” said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards.

“Our list of Peabody recipients for 2012 demonstrates the range of superb work,” he said. “From local to national to international, from radio to television, broadcast to cable to web, the Peabody sets the goals for every type of media production. We’ll continue to do this, no matter how the world of electronic media develops.”

Some of this year’s winner’s highlighted relatively new forms of electronic story-telling, such as the New York Times’ multi-media production “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek.” The online site chronicles what happened to skiers and snowboarders who were caught in an avalanche.

The 39 Peabody Awards will be formally presented at a luncheon on May 20 in New York.

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