FRONTLINE Wins PBS’ Beacon Award, Public Television’s Highest Honor


May 16, 2023

PBS named FRONTLINE, the award-winning investigative series housed at GBH in Boston, as the recipient of its 2023 Beacon Award.

The top honor in public television, the Beacon Award “pays tribute to individuals whose work inspires Americans and enriches our nation, in keeping with the mission of PBS,” an official PBS announcement said.

Recognizing FRONTLINE for its “unparalleled track record of producing quality investigative journalism,” PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger presented the award  at PBS’ Annual Meeting of Member Stations in San Diego, California.

Established in 2004 and formerly known as the Be More Award, this is the first time the Beacon Award has been given to a PBS series rather than an individual.

“With decades of dedicated service to our viewers, FRONTLINE consistently demonstrates the power of storytelling and the incredible impact of trustworthy reporting,” said Kerger in PBS’s official announcement. “We are honored to present PBS’s highest award to the FRONTLINE team for their extraordinary investigative journalism and commitment to the public media system.” 

The announcement noted that “in an era when fewer and fewer resources are devoted to investigative journalism on television, the impactful documentary series regularly delivers thought-provoking reporting and in-depth analysis of current affairs.”

As U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award — including 104 News & Documentary Emmy Awards and 31 Peabody Awards — and remains a trusted source for news and public affairs.

“The idea of a beacon — shining a light — in these challenging times, is what we constantly aspire to at FRONTLINE. Our beacon is journalism that lives up to our highest values and ambitions; that illuminates complex issues through history, context and accountability; and that takes the time to tell the story right. All of this is possible because of our journalists, producers, filmmakers and editors who work day in and day out,” editor-in-chief and executive producer of FRONTLINE Raney Aronson-Rath said in her remarks at the PBS Annual Meeting on Tuesday morning.

“It’s an honor to accept the Beacon Award on behalf of everyone who has dedicated themselves to FRONTLINE, past and present,” Aronson-Rath, who accepted the award at the PBS Annual Meeting, added. “Thank you to Paula Kerger for being a constant ambassador and believer in FRONTLINE’s investigative journalism. We’re so grateful for the support from the entire PBS team, PBS local stations across the country, Pat Harrison and all at CPB, and GBH — starting with Henry Becton, Jon Abbott and now Susan Goldberg — a journalist herself who shares my conviction that what we do is essential for our democracy. And of course, FRONTLINE would not be possible without David Fanning who founded the series in 1983.”

Last year’s Beacon Award recipient was Sonia Manzano. Other former awardees include Stanley Nelson (2018) Judy Woodruff (2019), and Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2021).  You can read more about FRONTLINE’s award in PBS’s official announcement here. 

FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 104 Emmy Awards and 31 Peabody Awards. Visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to learn more. FRONTLINE is produced at GBH in Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional support for FRONTLINE is provided by the Abrams Foundation, Park Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund, with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation, and additional support from Koo and Patricia Yuen.

FRONTLINE Press Contact:
Anne Husted, FRONTLINE, Manager, Public Relations and Communications |  |  617.300.5312