CNN's Ben Wedeman broadcasts live from Sabha, Libya while opposition fighters burn Gaddafi's green booksCredit: CNN
The broadcasters were among 38 recipients of this year's Peabody awards, which recognise excellence in broadcasting around the world.
Al Jazeera English was praised as "a network of record for millions of viewers throughout the world". Judges said the channel's "on-the-ground reporting was thorough, enterprising and brave".
CNN was commended by judges for its preparedness, with "seasoned correspondents already stationed throughout the Middle East".
The National Public Radio network's correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro was praised for her "exemplary coverage throughout the Middle East", "eloquently describing events or passing her microphone to everyday protesters or regime supporters".
The BBC won two prizes, including one for BBC.com, the global-facing version of the corporation's website, which judges said was "uniquely situated to provide immediate, evolving coverage of news events great and small ... with access to more than 2,000 journalists and the BBC's 72 overseas news bureaux".
A BBC Panorama documentary, Somalia: Land of Anarchy, which saw Peter Greste return to the country after six years "to provide the world with an unflinching look at life in a failed state" also picked up an award.
Peabody awards director Horace Newcomb said in a release: "The range of the Peabody Awards' search for excellence has never been wider or deeper than this year.
"Local news organisations covered stories with international import as well as those significant within their communities. Documentaries and news reports on issues missed or overlooked by big organisations were available on websites. Images of disaster appeared alongside images of hope and freedom."
The full list of winners can be found here. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in New York on 21 May.
Free daily newsletter
- How CNN is investing in digital video that 'goes deeper' into the story
- Great Big Story to launch in the Nordics as CNN explores storytelling that’s not tied to the 24-hour news cycle
- A snapshot of news organisations' reporting on US election day
- How NPR and The Washington Post are covering the US election results
- Advice from 10 news organisations to help you tailor your story pitches