Peabody Awards to Expand Into Interactive, Immersive and New Media Storytelling Categories

The Peabody Awards is expanding its domain to include honors for storytelling in interactive, immersive and new media categories. As part of the expansion — which comes a week after Peabody announced its 30 winners for 2021 — an additional board of ten newly appointed jurors has been named.

That group of industry experts will help Peabody — which honors “stories that matter in broadcasting and streaming media” — move into the digital and immersive format arenas.

“The foundation of the Peabody Awards is honoring stories that matter,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody. “Significant and incredibly creative storytelling is happening beyond legacy media before our eyes. New storytelling techniques and advancements in technology are surpassing the confines of traditional media. Creators are pioneering new methods to tell powerful stories and reach new audiences, and the achievements are extraordinary.”

The Peabody Interactive Board will identify projects across formats including gaming, interactive journalism, virtual reality, augmented reality, social video, interactive documentary, transmedia storytelling and more.

Added Jones: “With the introduction of digital and interactive media as its own distinctive category, we’re thrilled to be recognizing groundbreaking and important narratives in these digital spaces.”

According to Peabody, the inaugural awards will be given to “legacy media projects that demonstrate the depth of these new formats, emphasizing the foundational standards for future award winners and highlighting stories that have helped define the digital and interactive genres.”

Winners will be announced later this year in a separate celebration from the traditional Peabody spring awards ceremony. Formal details on the submission calendar, eligibility, and award categories are also forthcoming.

“We believe that impactful stories can come from anywhere, in new and evolving forms that push the limits of our understanding of how to tell stories. This expansion of the Peabody Awards recognizes the variety of storytelling media, and the storytellers who strive to move technology and their audiences into new spaces,” said Diana Williams, chairwoman of the new Peabody Interactive Board. “Our newly minted board is excited to have the opportunity to award and celebrate these creative contributions to the storytelling form.”

Here are the members the Peabody Interactive Board:

Diana Williams (chair), CEO and co-founder, Kinetic Energy Entertainment.

Lars Bastholm, chief creative officer, Story House Egmont.

Jay Bushman, writer/producer.

Aymar Jean Christian, PhD., associate professor of communication studies, Northwestern University.

Katerina Cizek, artistic director and co-founder, Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab.

Amy Hennig, president, new media division at Skydance Media.

Al Shaw, editor, news applications at ProPublica.

Kamal Sinclair, executive director of the Guild of Future Architects.

Sara Thacher, creative director and senior R&D imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Lance Weiler, co-founder and director, Columbia University School of the Arts Digital Storytelling Lab.

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