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03 April 2010

from GMA 7: I-Witness documentary wins Peabody Award

Ambulancia de Paa, an I-Witness documentary that showed how a mountain community worked as a team to transport the seriously ill through rugged trails, has just won the prestigious George Peabody Award, the awards’ board announced on its web siteWednesday night.

Among 36 winners of the annual award, Ambulancia de Paa “memorably chronicled how residents of a poor, remote town can only get their sick and injured to medical care using the ‘ambulance on foot,’ woven hammocks that they carry over dangerous terrain," according to the
Peabody Awards site.

Reporter Kara David in Apnagan, Oriental Mindoro shooting Ambulancia de Paa, an I-Witness documentary that just won the George Peabody Award. Disney Carreon

The Peabody Awards, now in its 69th year, are the oldest honor in electronic media.

Aired in March 2009, Ambulancia de Paa – hosted by Kara David and directed by Nowell Cuanang – is the second time GMA Network was recognized by the Peabody Awards. In 1999, Kidneys for Sale by Jessica Soho and her I-Witness documentary team and Jay Taruc’s Child Labor story on Brigada Siyete were given awards.

“It hasn’t sunk in," said Kara David, who was informed by the GMA News desk Thursday morning. While happy, she also admitted to feelings of guilt about winning an award when “there has been little change" in the subject of her documentary.

Ambulancia de Paa was about the Mangyan community of Apnagan in upland Oriental Mindoro. David said there is still no health center in the barangay.

For more videos, visit GMANews.TV

Shooting in such a remote, rugged place posed dangers to the Manila-based documentary team. “I almost fell off a cliff, almost got bitten by a snake," said Nowell Cuanang, the director of the documentary. “But we were touched by the Mangyans. Despite their conditions, they weren’t complaining, and were always smiling… Their foot ambulance required unity and team work. It was a triumph of the human spirit."

“Winning the Peabody for the second time is a great honor and blessing for GMA News and Public Affairs and the Philippines," said Marissa L. Flores, Senior Vice President for GMA News and Public Affairs. “We are inspired to do even better."

Among the other winners for 2009 are Glee, the musical “dramedy" on Fox, and reports and documentaries on 60 Minutes (CBS), BBC and the Public Broadcast System (PBS).

The 69th Annual Peabody Awards ceremony will be held on May 17 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and will be hosted by Diane Sawyer, the award-winning anchor of ABC’s "World News."

According to the Peabody web site, “The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, do not recognize categories nor are there a set number of awards given each year. Today the Peabody recognizes distinguished achievement and meritorious public service by TV and radio stations, networks, cablecasters, Webcasters, producing organizations and individuals."

The awards are administered by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Other members of the award-winning I-Witness team: Angel Directo, executive producer; Kristoffer Brugada, program manager; Disney Carreon, cameraman; Wilma Sesaldo, researcher.
– HS, GMANews.TV


Complete list of 2009 Peabody Award winners for broadcasting excellence in news and entertainment:


"Modern Family" (ABC), Twentieth Century Fox Television in association with Levitan Lloyd Productions

"The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson: An Evening with Archbishop Desmond Tutu" (CBS), Worldwide Pants, Inc.

"Noodle Road: Connecting Asia's Kitchens" (KBS1 TV), Korean Broadcasting System

"A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains" (ABC), ABC News

SesameStreet.org, Sesame Workshop

"BBC World News America: Unique Broadcast, Unique Perspective" (BBC America), BBC World News America, BBC America

"The Cost of Dying" (CBS), CBS News 60 Minutes

"Independent Lens: Between the Folds" (PBS), Green Fuse Films, ITVS

"Glee" (FOX), Twentieth Century Fox Television

"The OxyContin Express" (Current TV), Vanguard on Current TV

npr.org, National Public Radio (http://www.npr.org)

Diane Rehm, Personal Award, talk show now available to National Public Radio listeners after decades on Washington's WAMU-FM

"The Day that Lehman Died" (BBC World Service), a Goldhawk Essential Production/BBC World Service Production

"In Treatment" (HBO), Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions and Sheleg in association with HBO Entertainment

"Inventing LA: The Chandlers and Their Times" (PBS), Peter Jones Productions

"No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" (HBO), Mirage Enterprises and Cinechicks in association with The Weinstein Company, BBC and HBO Entertainment

"Sabotaging the System" (CBS), CBS News 60 Minutes

"Brick City" (Sundance Channel), Sundance Channel, Brick City TV LLC

"Thrilla in Manila" (HBO), Darlow Smithson Production, HBO Sports, HBO Documentary Films

"FRONTLINE: The Madoff Affair" (PBS), FRONTLINE, RAINmedia

"I-Witness: Ambulansiyang de Paa" (GMA Network), GMA Network, Inc., Philippines

"Independent Lens: The Order of Myths" (PBS), Folly River, Inc., Netpoint Productions, Lucky Hat Entertainment, ITVS

"Hard Times" (OPB Radio), Oregon Public Broadcasting

"Iran & the West", Brook Lapping Productions for the BBC in association with National Geographic Channel, France 3, NHK, VPRO, SVT, RTBF, VRT, NRK, SRC/CBC, DRTV SBS, YLE, TVP and Press TV

"Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson: Covering Afghanistan" (NPR), National Public Radio

"The Great Textbook War" (West Virginia Public Broadcasting), Trey Kay Productions

"Mind the Gap: Why Good Schools Are Failing Black Students" (KLCC Radio), Nancy Solomon

"Endgame" (PBS), Daybreak/Channel 4/Target Entertainment, Presented on PBS/MASTERPIECE by WGBH Boston

"Sichuan Earthquake: One Year On" (Now-Broadband TV News Channel), Now-TV News, Hong Kong

"BART Shooting" (KTVU-TV), KTVU, Oakland, Calif.

"American Masters: Jerome Robbins — Something to Dance About" (PBS), Thirteen/WNET

"Chronicle: Paul's Gift" (WYFF-TV), WYFF 4, Greenville, S.C.

"Under Fire: Discrimination and Corruption in the Texas National Guard" (KHOU-TV), KHOU-TV, Houston, Tex., Belo, Inc.

"Derrion Albert Beating" (WFLD-TV), FOX Chicago News: WFLD-TV and myfoxchicago.com

"Where Giving Life Is a Death Sentence" (BBC America), BBC World News America, BBC America, BBC World News

"Up in Smoke" (KCET-TV), KCET, Los Angeles

(This version CORRECTS Corrects name to "Trey Kay Productions" sted "Terry Kay Productions")

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