Winner 1998

Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel: The Reckoning

CBS News, presented on "Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel"

For the past 17 years, correspondent Carol Marin and producer Don Moseley have chronicled the story of Joel Sonnenberg, a remarkable young man who was horribly disfigured in a fiery truck crash in 1979. Joel, now a college student in North Carolina, is interviewed by Ms. Marin, whose questions are as direct and unflinching as are the young man’s answers about how he has survived and triumphed against overwhelming odds. In The Reckoning, presented on Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel, Joel and his family attain a sense of closure when they finally confront the truck driver whose negligent actions robbed Joel of a normal life. The Reckoning is a vivid illustration of the very best of television reporting. Ms. Marin and Mr. Moseley have made a long-term commitment to a story that is difficult to tell and difficult to watch, and have reported it in a way that is neither exploitative nor condescending. Hardly “cut-and-run” journalism, the story is propelled by the sensitivity and personal involvement of Ms. Marin, which is possible only when reporter and subject have earned each other’s trust over many years. It is a testament to executive producers Rand Morrison and Jonathan Klein, host Bryant Gumbel and Public Eye, that such a tender and visually potent subject was presented in prime time. For all this, a Peabody to The Reckoning, presented on Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel.