The Promise: Season 2 has been selected as a Peabody Award Nominee, which represents the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media during 2020. The podcast is hosted by Meribah Knight of Nashville Public Radio’s flagship station WPLN News.
The 60 nominees were chosen by unanimous vote of 19 jurors from more than 1,300 entries from television, podcasts/radio and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and multimedia programming. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.
“During an incredibly turbulent and difficult year, these nominees rose to the occasion and delivered compelling and empowering stories,” said Martha Nelson, chair of the Peabody Board of Jurors. “From COVID-19 coverage to poignant explorations of identity, each nominee not only told a powerful story but also made a significant impact on media programming and the cultural landscape. We’re thrilled to recognize their outstanding and inspiring work.”
The Promise grapples with public education and race in Nashville. It tells the story of one school trying to stay afloat in a neighborhood divided over race and economics, and dives headlong into history, revealing a city that’s resisted school desegregation at every turn.
“The podcast started with a simple question: Why do two public schools in the same neighborhood look so different?” says Emily Siner, news director of WPLN News and lead editor of The Promise. “Ultimately, this is a show by and for Nashville, with the hope that people will become more engaged in issues affecting the city’s children. But what this incredible nomination shows us is that this question resonates in cities across the country.”
Over nearly two years, Meribah Knight immersed herself in a neighborhood and an elementary school in East Nashville. She gathered more than 300 hours of tape, conducted more than 60 interviews, filed numerous public records requests, and traveled to the National Archives in Morrow, Georgia, to sift through thousands of pages of court documents from Nashville’s 43-year court battle over school desegregation.
The 30 Peabody Award winners will be announced in June.