KQED Takes Home Two Webby Awards

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The interactive storytelling series The Voicebot Chronicles and the digital video series If Cities Could Dance were honored with prestigious 2020 Webby Awards at this year’s virtual ceremony

KQED is the proud recipient of two 2020 Webby Awards for The Voicebot Chronicles, an interactive storytelling series produced exclusively for smart speakers, and for If Cities Could Dance, the digital video series that invites dancers nationwide to interpret and evoke the spirit and cultural legacies of their cities through their art form. KQED also received a nomination for Deep Look, the video series that gets up close to some of nature’s smallest creatures. Over 24 years, the Webby Awards have become the leading international award honoring excellence online, with prizes chosen by a group of over 2,000 judges through the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and a second winner designated by popular vote.

“We couldn’t be more excited for the KQED productions honored at the year’s Webby Awards,” says Holly Kernan, KQED Chief Content Officer. “It’s not only recognition for the hard work of these talented teams, but we also hope these awards will bring new attention and audiences to this work.”

KQED News won in the Apps, Mobile and Voice category for Best Writing for The Voicebot Chronicles, an interactive series produced exclusively for smart speakers. Hosted by Chloe Veltman and produced by Lowell Robinson, Bianca Taylor, Erika Kelly and Rob Speight, the first-of-its-kind series explores how to navigate a world where humans are becoming increasingly more reliant on voice technology. The story is responsive to users, who are given prompts and asked a host of questions as part of the story. At the “Webbys from Home” ceremony, Cathy Pearl from Google awarded the prize, which was accepted by Amazon’s Alexa with this 5 word speech on behalf of the KQED News team.

“KQED has long been at the forefront in public media for producing innovative content for a variety of platforms and mediums, adds Kernan. “We want to meet audiences where they are migrating to, but also we want to harness these new technologies to unlock new possibilities for the very nature of our storytelling and reporting, and If Cities Could Dance is a great example of that as well.”


The KQED Arts digital video series If Cities Could Dance won a Webby in the Video category for Travel & Lifestyle. The If Cities Could Dance production team, which includes Kelly Whalen, Claudia Escobar, Charlotte Buchen Khadra and Masha Pershay, has collaborated with local filmmakers in Detroit; Minneapolis; Washington, D.C.; Memphis; New Orleans; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and other cities. This is the series’ second Webby Award in two years. The third season premiered on May 5, 2020. All episodes are available for free at kqed.org/arts and the KQED Arts YouTube channel.

KQED also received a nomination in the Video category for Science & Education for its digital video series, Deep Look. Presented in collaboration with PBS Digital Studies, Deep Look reveals the small and often hidden worlds in nature. The production team behind Deep Look includes host Laura Klivans, series producer Craig Rosa, lead producer and cinematographer Josh Cassidy, coordinating producer Gabriela Quirós and producers Jenny Oh and Mike Seely.

About KQED

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas. www.kqed.org