Winner 1982

Oklahoma Shame


A unique cooperative effort between print and broadcast journalists in Oklahoma brought to light a shocking and sordid story of abuses, neglect, and questionable deaths in homes for the mentally retarded in that state operated by the Department of Human Services. The resulting on-the-air reports were not pretty, were not entertaining, and were not designed to be taken lightly by viewers. The reports were thorough, well-documented, and powerful in their impact. Ultimately, key resignations followed and a long process toward rectifying some of the abuses of the past was begun. For undertaking a tough task which resulted in important and tangible results, a Peabody Award to KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City for Oklahoma Shame.