J-school production, “Drug Wars,” wins a Peabody

17 April 2001 | The TV documentary “Drug Wars,” produced in part by Frontline West at the Graduate School of Journalism, is the winner of a George Foster Peabody Award, one of the most coveted honors in broadcasting.

The four-hour series, which originally aired on PBS television last October, examines the history of U.S. drug policy from the Nixon administration to the present. J-school alumni and graduate students, serving as associate producers, assistant editors and researchers, created the second half of the series. Lecturer Sharon Till was the senior producer of the series and Lowell Bergman, also a lecturer, was the series reporter.

“Frontline” senior executive producer David Fanning will accept the Peabody, on behalf of the “Frontline” team, at a May 21 awards ceremony in New York City.

Frontline West, a production unit of the Boston-based documentary series “Frontline,” is now in its fifth year at the School of Journalism. Each academic year it produces at least one documentary, under the direction of a filmmaker-in-residence. Another Frontline West production, “Secrets of the SAT” — which documented Berkeley’s post Prop 209 admissions process — recently received the National Education Writers Association First Prize for Broadcast Journalism.

The Peabody Awards are administered by the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. They recognize distinguished achievement and meritorious service by broadcasters, production organizations and individuals.


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