Renowned documentaries from the show "60 Minutes" include "Friendly Fire," "The CIA's Cocaine," "The Co$t of Dying," "Sabotaging the System" and "Joy in the Congo." Each of these five documentaries has won a Peabody Award, a prize that honors excellence in journalism.
Aired in 1991, "Friendly Fire" examined the fatal accident that killed several U.S. soldiers during the Persian Gulf War. The documentary was awarded because it successfully bridged the gap between what the American public expected of politicians and military leaders and what actually happened out on the battlefield.
"The CIA's Cocaine" is a famous "60 Minutes" documentary from 1993. The shocking story uncovered the CIA's involvement in smuggling cocaine into the United States. The show won the Peabody Award thanks to the incredible interview of the former head of the Drug Enforcement Agency by correspondent Mike Wallace.
In 2009, during the heated debates over the Affordable Care Act, "60 Minutes" aired a documentary called "The Co$t of Dying". It meticulously related the costs of the end-of-life treatment and discussed the degree of impact that such care had. For its "frank, fearless reporting about hard choices," it won the Peabody Award.
2009 saw another Peabody Award go to "60 Minutes" in honor of its documentary "Sabotaging the System", which alerted the American public to the growing threat of cyber terrorism. Before the show was aired, little media coverage was given to the menace of hackers.
"60 Minutes" documentaries can also show the profound power of the human spirit. The show's award-winning 2012 piece, "Joy in the Congo," told the story of a self-taught Congolese musician who formed an orchestra against all odds.