United States of Secrets, FRONTLINE’s two-part investigation of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities post-9/11, has been honored with a Peabody Award for excellence in documentary filmmaking. Rain Media produced Part Two of this series, examining how Silicon Valley feeds the NSA’s global surveillance dragnet.
“With extensive, candid interviews from both critics and defenders, FRONTLINE provided a great public service, revealing in clear, comprehensible detail how the U.S. government in its post-9/11 zeal came to monitor and collect the communications of millions of people around the world – and here at home – and the lengths to which officials have gone to hide the massive surveillance from the public,” said the announcement on the Peabody Awards website.
The Peabody Award for United States of Secrets will be presented on May 31, 2015.
Firestone and the Warlord, FRONTLINE and ProPublica‘s 2014 investigation revealing the relationship between the iconic American tire company Firestone and the infamous Liberian warlord Charles Taylor, has won an IRE Award.
“This reporting collaboration told a gripping story of how Firestone managed to continue operating during the brutal Liberian civil war, a tale informed by diplomatic cables, court documents and accounts from Americans who ran a rubber plantation as Liberia descended into chaos,” the IRE judges wrote in a statement announcing this year’s winners.
Told as both a documentary film and an interactive text story, the Firestone and the Warlord investigation spanned seven years and unearthed 44 lbs. of previously unreported court documents.
It found that Firestone agreed to pay millions of dollars to Taylor in exchange for being able to operate in Liberia — money that, in Taylor’s own words, provided the “financial assistance that we needed for the revolution” — and uncovered how Taylor turned the company’s plantation into a rebel base that he used to wage a bloody civil war.
The judges praised Firestone and the Warlord, which was honored in the “Multiplatform – Large” investigations category, as “a concise history of a disturbing episode that the public largely overlooked, and a rare window into the interrelationships of corporations that supply our consumer goods and regimes linked to crimes against humanity.”