Winner 2018

Anatomy of a Killing

BBC Africa Eye

When a mysterious video began to circulate on social media showing two African village women and their two young children being murdered by men in military fatigues, BBC Africa Eye stepped in to investigate. To most, it would seem impossible to identify the people or the place, but the team began to dissect the short video, using open source tools and collaborating with Amnesty International, the Bellingcat network, and independent analysts on Twitter. Meticulous work, matching the landscape to satellite imagery, revealed the exact location of the crime to be the Far North of Cameroon. Further examination of buildings and shadows narrowed the time frame. Then, the question remained: Who were the perpetrators? Africa Eye’s painstaking analysis of the weapons and uniforms showed that the men were part of the Cameroonian army, ultimately identifying the exact individuals who pulled the triggers. The Cameroon government initially dismissed the video as “fake news,” but in the face of this detailed and precise evidence, they arrested the soldiers to hold them accountable for the atrocity. This innovative work demonstrates how open source technology and collaborative journalism can uncover what might seem to be hidden truths. For their enterprise and diligence, and for bringing justice to the victims, Anatomy of a Killing wins a Peabody Award.


Executive Producers: Daniel Adamson, Aliaume Leroy. Producers: Benjamin Strick, Emmanuel Freudenthal. Writers: Daniel Adamson. Editors: Marc Perkins. Correspondents: Aliaume Leroy, Benjamin Strick. Contributors: Samir, @Sector035, @Jharris_UK, Christiaan Triebert, Youri Van Der Weide. Cinematography: Tom Flannery. Voice: Nancy Kacungira.