Institutional Award: GMA Network for Investigative Reporting
The heart wrenching stories exposed by GMA Network represent a comprehensive and on-going effort to depict the complexity of social problems in a region rife with political and social unrest. Executive producer Marissa Flores, with a talented team of producers, writer, directors and reporters, including Jessica Soho, Michelle Seva-Recto, Jay Taruc, Leogarda Sanchez and Rowel Cornejo, and powerful videography by Melchor Quintos and Gregg Gonzales, delve into the hardships shared by many Filipinos. In Kidneys for Sale, GMA Network entered a depressed area along the shores of Manila Bay and revealed how a colony of unemployed men have sold their kidneys for an average of $2,500 US dollars. After the documentary aired the government was forced to step in and impose regulations. GMA also entered the ring in its revealing investigation of the local boxing industry. The GMA expose went beyond the few champions who have become rich and famous to expose the corruption and exploitation that mars the sport. In perhaps its most courageous investigation, GMA investigators exposed the plight of child workers in a three-part series shown on the news magazine Brigada Siete. The story documented how children in the provinces were deceived by shrewd recruiters and were lured into forced labor conditions in the city. In unforgettable images, the reports illustrated how GMA initiated the rescue of the imprisoned young workers and facilitated their return to their families. For its outstanding commitment to investigative reporting, and for its efforts to achieve social change, a Peabody Award goes to GMA Network, Manila, Philippines.