Winner 2019

American Betrayal

On Assignment with Richard Engel, NBC & MSNBC

In fall 2019, President Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the northern Syrian border, effectively abandoning longtime allies the Kurds, and opening the door for Turkey to commence ethnic cleansing. NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel immediately dispatched to the frontlines where he was able to tap into extensive contacts to document the invasion and its aftermath. As the White House attempted to distract or deflect international criticism—with the President insisting that “everybody is happy”—Engel and his unit indefatigably gave us reports of war footage and interviews with Kurdish soldiers, a school teacher, and foreign policy experts showing an alternative reality. But more affecting is the story of the beleaguered Kurdish people, their tenacity, and the devastation of being pushed out of Rojava, a “stable, pro-American and peaceful” territory. American Betrayal masterfully attends to both the big picture and to the humans trapped in it. For offering a nuanced historical primer, and for interrogating policy as much as featuring the human costs of rash policy, American Betrayal receives a Peabody Award.


Creators: MSNBC, NBC News. Senior Vice President, Newsgathering, NBC News: David Verdi. Senior Vice President, Prime Time Programming, MSNBC: Jonathan Wald. Chief Foreign Correspondent: Richard Engel. Executive Producer: Tim Gallagher. Co-Executive Producer: Leon Ferguson. Senior Producer: Joe Delmonico. Director of Coverage: Ian Sherwood. Field Producers: Marc Smith, Ammar Cheikhomar, Charlie Ede. Local Fixer/Producers: Perwer Mohamed, Lina Issato. Camera Operators: Randy Brown, Gabriel Chaim, Dave Copeland, Nico Hameon, Sean Keane, Jonas Schoenstein, Tom Krohn, Miguel Toran, Alfred Lopez, Baran Misko. Audio Technicians: Hing Ng, Jeff Byers, Jack Goodwin. Producers: Ziad Jaber, Charlotte Gardiner, Julie Cerullo, Hatice Soyal, Sue Kroll, Adam Reiss, Bita Ryan. Associate Producer: Delara Shakib. Digital Writer: Luke Denne. Editors: Keith Lynch, Rachele Webb, Tom Whittaker. Graphic Designer: Pete Everest. Online Editor: Marshall Hausfeld. Director of Production: Carrie Wysocki.