Dan Rather, whose broadcast journalism career has spanned six decades including being anchor of CBS Evening News from 1981-2005, has been given the Peabody Career Achievement Award.
The honor, which the Peabody organization said is reserved for individuals whose work and commitment to broadcasting and digital media have left an indelible mark on the field and in American culture, was announced Tuesday. Dolly Parton presented Rather with the award virtually (see the video below).
Previous recipients of the career honor include Carol Burnett, Rita Moreno, Cicely Tyson and Sam Pollard.
Rather covered the Kennedy assassinations and the civil rights movement and reported from Vietnam before being named CBS’ chief anchor in 1982. He also was a longtime correspondent on the network’s 60 Minutes.
“Dan Rather’s remarkable career — from local news reporter and international correspondent to network anchor — is a textbook example not just of what quality reporting looks like, but how journalists serve democracy well,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of the Peabody Awards. “Spanning over six decades, Rather helped viewers understand and interpret some of the most traumatic historical events in our nation’s history, from the Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War to 9/11 and more. We are happy to call attention to and celebrate his life’s work.”
The Peabodys, which are gearing up to reveal its 30 winners June 6-9, also said today that it is recognizing TV Rain (known in Russian as Dozhd) will be recognized with the Peabody Journalistic Integrity Award, which “honors the sustained achievement of the highest professional standards of journalism, as well as personal integrity in reporting the news in challenging times.” TV Rain was was Russia’s last independent TV channel before it was shut down in March for its criticism of President Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.
The Peabody Board of Jurors also made a special commendation to the journalists and filmmakers who have risked their lives and died covering the violence and humanitarian crises in Ukraine. “We honor these courageous storytellers killed in their line of duty to bring the truth to the world, not just in Ukraine, but in India, Mexico, the Philippines, and globally,” Jones said.
Here’s Parton presenting Rather with the career honor via video, which includes clips from his career: