Peabody Board of Jurors Names ITVS Institutional Award Winner

Honor is reserved for “institutions whose work and commitment to broadcast media define and transform the field”

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(San Francisco, CA, May 3, 2017) — The prestigious Peabody Awards, now in its 76th year of recognizing the best in television and digital journalistic storytelling, has announced ITVS as this year's recipient of the Peabody Institutional Award. The award will be given out at the Peabody Awards gala event on May 20 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, which will be taped for a television special to air on both PBS and FUSION networks on Friday, June 2 (9 p.m. ET).

In bestowing this honor upon ITVS, the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors wrote:

"If any organization can claim a foundational place in the flourishing of documentary film over the past generation, it is the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Conceived by independent filmmakers who saw a paucity of diversity in public media, ITVS was formed by Congress in 1988. Since then ITVS has had a broad transformative impact on the media landscape, particularly in public media. With more than 1,400 films funded and a staggering 32 Peabody Awards, ITVS’ output represents an accomplished range of work as rich as any broadcaster or funder. Landmark films within the Peabody canon include: How to Survive a Plague by David France; Marco Williams and Whitney Dow’s Two Towns of Jasper; Leslee Udwin’s India’s Daughter; and The Invisible War by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering. These works remain as relevant today as when they were initially broadcast and have made an impact that is impossible to measure. At a time when public media is under political attack, there is no better time to recognize the vital contributions to public discourse and knowledge than that provided by ITVS."

“We are honored the Peabody board of jurors selected ITVS as the sole winner this year of its Institutional Award,” said Sally Jo Fifer, President and CEO of ITVS. “This news is joyous for our board and staff, our funders, and our independent filmmakers. We also realize how important this award is to communities all over the country whose authentic and compelling stories have been illuminated by the talented filmmakers who tell them."

Fifer added, "for more than 25 years, through our Congressional mandate, we have served as an incubator for filmmakers and an engine for independent voice thanks to unyielding support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and from PBS, which helps us make these stories accessible to all Americans."

In addition to receiving the institutional Peabody Award, ITVS added to its tally of individual documentary winners with Trapped, by Dawn Porter. Four other ITVS-supported documentaries earned Peabody nominations:

Independent Lens: The Armor of Light
Independent Lens: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
POV: The Return
POV: What Tomorrow Brings

Among past ITVS-supported winners of individual Peabody Awards are The House I Live In and The Invisible War (both 2013), Bhutto (2011), and The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (2010).

The Peabody Board of Jurors is made up of an esteemed panel of journalists, media producers, professors, and advisors.


 is a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that has, for over 25 years, funded and partnered with a diverse range of documentary filmmakers to produce and distribute untold stories. ITVS incubates and co-produces these award-winning films and then airs them for free on PBS via our weekly series, Independent Lens, as well as on other PBS series and through our digital platform, OVEE. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. For more information, visit

Posted on May 2, 2017