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Peabody Awards and Facebook Partner for New Digital Media Award

The Peabody Awards and Facebook have teamed up to create a new prize designed to highlight excellence and innovation in the digital storytelling space, the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award, it was announced Thursday.

The Futures of Media Award recipients were chosen by student Peabody Fellows at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, and the inaugural prizes will honor the year’s top five stories in digital media. The five winners will attend a presentation luncheon at the Paley Center for Media on Friday, May 20 in addition to the Peabody Awards ceremony on Saturday, May 21. Both events will be streamed on the Peabody’s Facebook page via Facebook Live.

The Futures of Media Award winners for 2015 are:

• Ebola Outbreak (FRONTLINE)
• Halal in the Family (Sweet 180 Productions)
• Inheritance (FRONTLINE)
• Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment)
• One Year in Ferguson (St. Louis Public Radio)

The digital projects include a parody sitcom web series challenging anti-Muslim bias; the immersive experience provided by virtual reality technology for understanding the Ebola crisis; an interactive web documentary centered on memory, grieving, and loss; a curated radio/audio-photography retelling of the complex story of Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri; and a non-linear videogame that combines and subverts classic genres while challenging how videogame narratives are told.

The Futures of Media Award is separate from the existing Peabody Awards, which have recognized digital content in various forms since 2003.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to have Facebook, one of the preeminent technology and media companies in the world, as our partner for these awards,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, Director of the Peabody Awards. “These award winners represent the cutting edge of how stories can be told in digital spaces. Facebook is at the forefront of shaping how we learn about, share, discuss, and experience stories such as these.”

“The pace of innovation in digital storytelling is inspiring and these winners demonstrate some of the possibilities to leverage new technologies,” said Andy Mitchell, Director of Global News & Media Partnerships at Facebook. “To partner with Peabody on this award and have all the winners shown on FB Live, one of the many new digital products inspiring this innovation, is an honor.”

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