GMA news teams were reporting from all over the Visayas region on the 8th of November 2013, when the super typhoon, and the powerful storm surge that followed, took the lives of thousands in just a few minutes. In the aftermath, families were in search of the missing and surrounded by the dead. There was no food or water and no communication with the outside world. News teams were documenting the victims of the disaster even as they faced the same conditions.
“Facing logistical challenges and sharing in the national shock in the face of what may have been the most powerful typhoon in history, GMA news teams provided desperately needed spot news coverage and information, gaining strength and perspective as they worked, and followed up with solid reporting on the aftermath, heroic acts and relief efforts,” cited the Peabody Awards Board.
GMA News won the Peabody for its overall Typhoon Yolanda coverage which was composed of entries from the newscasts 24 Oras, 24 Oras Weekend, Saksi, State of the Nation and the public affairs magazine show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. It is a precious win that the network shares with the Yolanda survivors who continue to struggle to rebuild their communities.
The George Foster Peabody Awards, the broadcast and electronic media equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, aims to recognize the stories that matter. Winning requires a unanimous vote from the 16 member board. Besides GMA News, this year’s list of winners include the series Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, three HBO documentaries, twelve programs by the broadcaster PBS and a personal award for journalist Tom Brokaw.
GMA Network was first recognized by the Peabody Awards in 1999 for the I-Witness documentaries “Kidneys for Sale” and “Kamao” by Jessica Soho and Jay Taruc’s child labor story on “Brigada Siete.” Kara David’s I-Witness episode “Ambulansya de Paa” was awarded in 2010 followed by Reel Time’s “Salat” in 2013.
GMA is the only news and public affairs organization in the country to have received this prestigious award for excellence in broadcast journalism. The 73rd Annual Peabody Awards ceremony will be held on May 19 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
(Press release from GMA Network)