The Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment is a big one--its purpose is "to encourage outstanding coverage of the environment, to recognize reporting that has the potential to bring about constructive change, and to broadly disseminate the Prize-winning story to increase public awareness and understanding of issues focusing on the environment." Plus the winner gets $75,000 and serious credibility. It is administered by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, housed at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography. The winner has been announced: it is the New York Times. There were three awards of special merit: writers from the Toronto Star, National Public Radio, and the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
The New York Times winners wrote a series about pollution in China, definitely a hot topic. They dedicated five journalists, three photographers and a videographer to the year-long effort which was a ten part series. Pollution in China is so severe that it is causing the premature deaths of nearly a million Chinese citizens yearly, killing off species and fouling the air and water of much of the rest of the planet. After the articles were published, the Chinese government responded with reforms which is unusual since they ignore the foreign press. The articles were translated into Mandarin for Chinese readers.
Awards of Special Merit:
The Florida story is interesting and worthy of an award because it is a series on the decline of the state's natural environment run by a small newspaper in Daytona with a circulation of only 100,000. A series of stunning photos accompanied the very accessible articles run over a year long period.
National Public Radio did a year long series on the climate. Every month they focused on a different part of the world, including Europe, the South Pacific, Africa, the Arctic, South Asia, and Latin America. They covered topics such as Iceland's glaciers, the impact of tourism in Antarctica, Greenland's lakes and the impact of climate change on penguins.
The Canadians won an award of special merit for a story about climate change in the Arctic and the impact on local communities, the wildlife and the economy. Although it sounds too familiar, the series of eight articles is the result of nine journeys to the Arctic, covering thousands of miles to interview Inuit hunters, scientists, oil men, miners, and politicians. The topics covered include plight of the olar bears, the immense wealth in resources, the spread of spruce beetles and the Canadian government's responsibility. Truly a primer on the Arctic. :: Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment
For More Information on the Prize
:: Grantham Prize Finalists Announced