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WRAL, 'Ellen', '60 Minutes' Take Coveted Peabody Awards

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RALEIGH — WRAL-TV5 has won the prestigious Peabody Award for broadcast and cable excellence for its October, 1997 5 Investigates report, "Military Medical Malpractice". The coming-out ``Puppy Episode'' of the ABC series ``Ellen'' earned also earned a Peabody, as did CBS' "60 Minutes".

The awards, administered by the University of Georgia's Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, were announced Thursday.

Among the 34 awards chosen from more than 1,300 entries were honors to the CBS News programs ``Sunday Morning'' and ``60 Minutes'' for ongoing excellence.

WRAL's Peabody is the second major award bestowed upon the five-part series by Investigative Reporter Stuart Watson and Chief Photographer Richard Adkins.

The recently canceled ABC series ``Nothing Sacred'' was cited by Peabody judges as providing ``an honest portrayal of the complexity of faith in the modern era.'' NBC's ``Homicide: Life on the Street'' received its third Peabody in five years.

Turner Broadcasting System founder Ted Turner and Chicago newswoman Carol Marin were given personal Peabody awards. The judges called Turner a ``titanic figure in modern electronic communication. Ms. Marin, who quit her job to protest the hiring of talk show host Jerry Springer as a commentator, was cited for her ``personal commitment to ethics and integrity in local broadcast journalism.''

WGBH-TV in Boston received three awards: for the Masterpiece Theatre production of ``The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,'' for ``The American Experience: The Presidents Series'' and ``The American Experience: Troublesome Creek - a Midwestern.''

The British Broadcasting Corp. was honored for its participation in ``The Tenant of Wildfell Hall'' and for what the judges called a ``surprisingly new and informative expose'' on the Third Reich, ``The Nazis: A Warning from History.''

WRAL's report led to changes that brought military medical practitioners in line with national standards.

Judging is done by a 15-member board that includes TV critics, broadcast and cable industry executives and experts in culture and the arts.