Winner 1997

Nightline: The Trial of Pol Pot

ABC News/Nightline

The best television journalism is groundbreaking, authoritative and evidentiary. It brings a significant news event to the forefront, and does so with the critical background research, context and thoughtful presentation that it requires. Such is the case with this series of reports spanning July 28-30, 1997. The reports were made possible by the heroic and exclusive footage provided by Nate Thayer, correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review, and his cameraman, David McKaige of Asiaworks. Mr. Thayer and Mr. McKaige were invited to a remote area of Cambodia by the Khmer Rouge to witness the so-called “trial” of Pol Pot, one of history’s infamous genocidal despots. The men brought back video of stunning clarity and historical importance. While broadcasting this monumental reportage was in itself significant and meritorious, Nightline enhanced its meaning and impact by providing exceptional historical perspective, important tests of authenticity, and valuable interpretations about the veracity and significance of the trial. In addition to the heroic and historic efforts of Mr. Thayer, credit is due to the accomplished broadcast news professionals at Nightline, including executive producer Tom Bettag, anchor and managing editor Ted Koppel, producers Leroy Sievers and Bryan Myers, senior producers Richard Harris, Mark Nelson and C. Scott Willis, director Eric Siegel, and correspondent Jim Laurie. For presenting a television news event of international significance and for doing so with reasoned analysis, skillful writing, balanced research, and insightful interviewing, a Peabody is presented to ABC News/Nightline for The Trial of Pol Pot.