Personal Award: Linda Ellerbee, Host of “Nick News”
In making the announcement of this year’s Peabody Awards, chairman of the board Neil Aronstam noted, “In a year when the Clinton/Monica Lewinsky story dominated the news, it is significant to note that Linda Ellerbee’s Nick News reporting on the Clinton scandal was the only coverage of this year-long ordeal that Peabody honored and felt worthy of recognition. Ellerbee’s straightforward explanation to her young audience proved to be the most insightful telling of the story both for children and adults alike.” That outstanding episode of Nick News was worthy of Peabody recognition. But, as the Peabody Board reviewed hundreds of additional hours of programming on topics as diverse as the crisis in Yugoslavia, the tragedy in Jonesboro, slavery in the Sudan, and others, it became obvious that a continuing trail of excellence led directly to Ms. Ellerbee. As host of Nick News, and as co-executive producer with Rolfe Tessem and senior producer Mark Lyons of Lucky Duck Productions (which produces Nick News for Nickelodeon), Ms. Ellerbee consistently provides explanations and interpretations of news events for children that represent the highest standard of journalistic ethics and integrity. Ms. Ellerbee has an ability to explain complex stories in a way that is simple to understand, but is never simple-minded. She listens to her audience, and never assumes a position of superiority. Absent in these reports are the conceits of celebrity journalism, as are some of the more over-utilized tricks of the trade, such as hidden cameras, dramatic music, or manipulative electronic editing and special effects. In recognition of her ongoing excellence with Nick News, and in tribute to her long and distinguished career in broadcast journalism, a personal Peabody Award is presented to Linda Ellerbee.