WATCH: WITNESS Accepts Inaugural Peabody Award for Global Impact

WITNESS is deeply humbled to have received the first ever Peabody Award for Global Impact at the 84th annual Peabody Awards on June 9th, in recognition for our work “tirelessly championing the power of emergent media technologies in defense of human rights around the world.”

“Over the course of the last thirty years WITNESS has helped millions of people use video to expose the truth and fight injustice. And now, in the age of AI and deepfakes, we make sure that journalists and human rights defenders can still be trusted, believed, and acted upon.” –Sam Gregory, Executive Director, accepts the Peabody Award for Global Impact on behalf of WITNESS

In his acceptance speech in LA, Executive Director Sam Gregory emphasized that this award is shared with “our partners and the millions of frontline witnesses…who are land defenders, cop watchers, war crimes investigators, citizen journalists, community media, and ordinary people caught in conflict who stand up for their rights.”

He also thanked co-founder Peter Gabriel for his visionary work “long before we all had mobile phones in our pockets” and WITNESS’ longstanding allies and supporters, without whom our work would not be possible.

Executive Director Sam Gregory, alongside Deputy Executive Director Shantha Rau Barriga, former Executive Director Yvette Alberdingk-Thijm, and Board Co-Chair Adelin Cai attended the 84th Peabody Awards in LA on June 9th to accept the Global Impact Award. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Peabody Awards)

WITNESS is grateful to Peabody for this recognition, which comes at a pivotal moment. The integrity and impact of critical video is under attack like never before. What happens when the courageous voices of journalists and activists can be drowned-out, diminished, and attacked? Or when audio-visual evidence gathered at great risk by human rights defenders and communities can be dismissed as fake? How do we establish the authenticity of video when the truth is always in question?

As we face the challenges of deepfakes and deceptive AI, WITNESS fights to defend the truth and trust in what we see and hear. 

We are committed to defending the power of video to change the world at every level–from the design, development, and deployment of technologies to the policies and laws that govern them–WITNESS ensures that technology works for, and not against, human rights.


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