FRONTLINE Wins Peabody Award for “The Facebook Dilemma”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens while testifying before a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens while testifying before a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

April 16, 2019

The Facebook Dilemma, FRONTLINE’s documentary investigating the social media giant’s rise and its global impact, was named a 2019 George Foster Peabody Award winner in the Documentary category on Tuesday.

“This in-depth investigation into the Silicon Valley giant reveals a corporation that willfully ignored warnings and shirked responsibility as it reveled in global success, exploiting user data and sowing social and political unrest in the process,” said today’s announcement on the Peabody Awards website.

The Facebook Dilemma, a two-part series from producers James Jacoby and Anya Bourg and reporter Dana Priest, investigated a trail of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. With dozens of original interviews and rare footage, the October 2018 special examined the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world.

“We’re so proud that our investigation of Facebook has been named a Peabody Award winner,” said FRONTLINE Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath. “Thank you to the Peabody Board of Jurors, our remarkable film team, our loyal viewers, and to WGBH, PBS and CPB for championing our journalism.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized among such a talented group of storytellers, whose work speaks to the noblest aspirations of American media,”  said Jacoby and Bourg. “We’d like to thank the Peabody Board of Jurors, our teammates at FRONTLINE and PBS, and the sources who shared their experiences with this powerful corporation in this film.”

A second FRONTLINE documentary, Separated: Children at the Border, is a 2019 Peabody Award finalist in the News category (News winners will be announced Tuesday, April 23). In Separated, producer Marcela Gaviria and correspondent Martin Smith investigated what happened to immigrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Including these two nominations, 14 of this year’s 60 Peabody Award nods went to PBS projects.

Since 1940, the prestigious George Foster Peabody Awards have honored excellence in broadcasting. The awards now recognize excellence in digital storytelling as well. The 77th annual Peabody Awards ceremony will take place on May 18, 2019, in New York City.

With today’s honor, FRONTLINE has won 21 Peabody Awards. Watch the award-winning film, The Facebook Dilemma, below, and check back on April 23 when Peabody winners in the News category are announced.

The Facebook Dilemma – Part One:


The Facebook Dilemma – Part Two:

Patrice Taddonio

Patrice Taddonio, Digital Writer & Audience Development Strategist, FRONTLINE



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