The Peabody Awards honor distinction and achievement within the fields of broadcast journalism, documentary film making, educational and children’s programming, and entertainment. The first medals were awarded in 1941 for radio programs from the previous year, they are one of the oldest honors in electronic media. Television programs first received awards in 1948. Cable television was first recognized in 1981.
Each year, from more than one thousand entries, the Peabody Board selects by unanimous vote the most outstanding works. Though there is no set number of medals awarded, no more than 36 medals have ever been presented in a single year.