Professor Susan J. Douglas, Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies has been named the Chair of the Board of The George Foster Peabody Awards for 2009-2010. The Peabody Awards, long considered among the most prestigious prizes in electronic media, have been awarded since 1941, and recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious service by radio and television networks, stations, producing organizations, cable television organizations and individuals.
The Peabody Board is a 16-member panel of scholars, critics and media-industry professionals who determine the recipients of the prize, and the judging process is unusually rigorous. Evaluation of the more than 1,000 entries typically received begins in February, when Board members meet to discuss the entries at intensive preliminary meetings in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. After those meetings, the Board convenes for a third time at the Peabody Offices on the University of Georgia campus in late March for final screenings and deliberations. Only unanimously selected programs receive Peabodys. There is no set number of Awards. Since 1941, when the first Awards were presented for work completed in 1940, no more than 36 Awards have been presented in a single year. Recent awardees include The Daily Show, 60 Minutes, various Frontline documentaries, 30 Rock, investigative news stories from local television stations, This American Life and other reporting on National Public Radio, Mad Men, and The Colbert Report.