A conversation with Nina Lakhani, author of “Who Killed Berta Cáceres? Dams, Death Squads, and an Indigenous Defender's Battle for the Planet."
On April 26, our President suggested that reporters who earned "Noble" (sic) Prizes for reporting on "the Russian hoax" return their awards. The President should have caught his own misspelling, since he'd be a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize in Twitterature, if it weren't a Fake Award.
Environment almost clears the bar<p>Four more of what we now call "legacy" media were 2020 Pulitzer finalists reporting on science/environment themes. What the President likes to call the "failing" <em>New York Times</em> failed once more. Fifteen of its stories on the <a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/new-york-times-2" target="_blank">Trump Administration's own failures to follow science</a> at EPA, NOAA, the Interior Department and other agencies earned Finalist honors in the Public Service category. </p><p>Nestor Ramos of the <em>Boston Globe</em> was a <a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/nestor-ramos-boston-globe" target="_blank">feature writing finalist</a> for a report on the devastating climate impacts on the oversized sandbar known as Cape Cod. The <em>Wall Street Journal</em> staff were <a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/staff-wall-street-journal-0" target="_blank">Investigative Pulitzer</a> finalists for series on the California utility giant PG&E and its culpability in causing the wildfires that erased the town of Paradise, California. Editorial writer <a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/jill-burcum-star-tribune-minneapolis-minn" target="_blank">Jill Burcum</a> of the <em>Minneapolis Star-Tribune</em> was an opinion finalist for a piece on proposed nickel mines near the Boundary Waters Canoe area on the Canadian border.</p>
'Groundbreaking' reporting?<p>A winner and four finalists is a pretty good haul for a beat that many, including its practitioners, consider to be long-neglected. In recognizing the <em>Post, </em>the Pulitzer jury called the work a "groundbreaking series." Good? Absolutely. Thorough? Thoroughly. Deserving reporters, editors and support staff? Yes. Both the <em>Post</em> and the <em>New York Times</em> have been assembling all-star teams on the beat for several years.</p><p>But groundbreaking, it's not. Traditional newsrooms, nonprofits, and even broadcasters have been breaking this ground for quite a while now. The Pulitzer Board has recognized groundbreaking work on the environment most years for the past three decades.</p>
Environmental reporting that won a Pulitzer<ul><li>In 2018, Jack E. Davis won the History prize for his book <a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/winners/jack-e-davis" target="_blank"><em>The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea,</em></a><em> </em>an "important environmental history." The <em>Santa Rosa Press-Democrat</em> won for its Breaking News coverage of wildfires.</li><li><a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year/2016" target="_blank">2016 winners</a> include the Associated Press for unveiling lawlessness in international fisheries; and the <em>New Yorker's </em>Kathryn Schulz on the Cascadia Fault, the Pacific Northwest's seismic disaster waiting to happen.</li><li><a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year/2015" target="_blank">In 2015</a>, the <em>Seattle Times</em> was honored for reporting on manmade influences on a lethal landslide; and Dianna Marcum of the <em>L.A. Times</em> for Feature Writing on victims of a major drought.</li><li>Dan Fagin won the Nonfiction Prize <a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year/2014" target="_blank">in 2014</a> for <em>Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation,</em> about a pollution-plagued Jersey Shore town. The Center for Public Integrity's Chris Hamby was honored for investigating the systematic shafting of coal miners stricken with black lung disease.</li><li><a href="https://www.pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-year/2014" target="_blank">The 2013 National Reporting Pulitzer</a> went to staffers of <em>Inside Climate News, </em>a then-obscure non-profit, on risks and regulatory mismanagement of oil pipelines.</li></ul>This trend goes back into the 1990's, but you get the picture.
The Pulitzer for 'I told you so'<p>Several years ago at a meeting organized by Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, I introduced Mark Schleifstein as having shared in two Pulitzers at the <em>Times-Picayune</em> for his work on Louisiana's battery of environmental threats, from Hurricane Katrina to Gulf fisheries to vanishing wetlands. The veteran environment reporter smiled quietly and corrected me by holding up three fingers. He's also been a finalist <a href="https://ona19.journalists.org/speaker/mark-schleifstein/" target="_blank">twice more.</a></p><p>Sadly, environmental journalists might sweep the field in the as-yet imaginary Pulitzer category I'd like to see. Reporters whose work predicted coalfield catastrophes, chemical calamities, hurricane horrors and other disasters would be prime candidates for the Pulitzer Prize for I-Told-You-So. I wrote about this for <a href="http://edge.ensia.com/forewarned/" target="_blank">Ensia in 2017</a>.</p>
Smart today, smarter tomorrow<p>What's the moral of this story? There are several, take your pick. Environmental stories are sort of like critically-successful films that only play in 30-seat art cinemas in college towns and Bohemian neighborhoods. They deserve better. Despite the dire straits that so many newspapers are in, cutting your special beat reporters is cutting your relevance to your community. TV news operations should follow CNN and NBC and restore the environment, or climate change, as a full-time beat.</p><p>These Pulitzer-worthy environmental stories, and thousands more, look smart today and with precious few exceptions, will look even smarter in 20 years. When that happens, don't say I didn't tell you so.</p>
From Australia to the Arctic to your neighborhood, environment and energy news is already heating up as 2020 kicks off — and the election promises to add fuel to the fire. On January 24, attendees got a head start on the year's top stories at SEJ's 8th annual "Journalists' Guide to Energy & Environment" at the National Geographic Society's auditorium in Washington, DC.
The Marshall Islands show that the comfort and security of the United States have not come without a price.
We lost a reader yesterday. And I am more than fine with that.
I've made it to most of the Society of Environmental Journalists' 29 annual conferences, but not this one.
New blood working the beat<p>The beat has been re-energized in such legacy media giants as the Washington Post and New York Times. But SEJ's strength also lies in a proliferation of new sites doing dynamic investigative work and vivid storytelling.</p><p>Here are but a few:<br></p>
The Intercept<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk4OTUwNS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjU0NDE5MX0.0o1KMoFdCiFs2WPZIptYUXOu2S9g5NpbmHCvQlE-hqk/img.png?width=980" id="2ecea" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c098a673aa2d31b2255cc6261288a960" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Bankrolled six years ago by EBay entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar, <a href="https://theintercept.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">this website</a> has rattled cages across the political landscape. <a href="https://twitter.com/fastlerner" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Sharon Lerner</a> is their prolific investigative reporter on the environment.</p>
Southerly Magazine<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk4OTQ4NC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2Mjk4MDU1NX0.UB6ZjK8zxu2A3ASJigBi2vn3K-vzRzgEeW1cwDn6ZzY/img.png?width=980" id="82848" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bbb15109b494b72e57df9159474acb51" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>A <a href="https://southerlymag.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">collection of long-reads</a> on environmental issues in the American South. The year-old startup is the work of <a href="https://www.lyndseygilpin.com/about" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Lyndsey Gilpin</a>, who seeks to fill in the gaps in a region vastly underserved in environmental reporting and storytelling.</p>
The Revelator<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk4OTQ3Ny9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODU2NDc1MH0.aoIMqcpj7zPXAMbdqWgQM5fU9Mu9psX29JMY63hwdE0/img.png?width=980" id="50c0c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4faed0933406372122f7621f5e50b2fb" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Two years ago, the Arizona-based advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity launched a news site, <em><a href="https://therevelator.org/welcome/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Revelator</a></em>. Its well-told stories on species, habitats, and politics rapidly became a must-read.</p>
Heated<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk4OTQ5MS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0OTQyMjQzMH0.sCj6gvJB2YhrQDDbQ_r9r9-2lUMlNpTFb2-PBLI99Kk/img.png?width=980" id="d60c7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a058cfa3357cff63d246abc18a6a4aba" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>A few months ago, <a href="https://twitter.com/emorwee" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Emily Atkin</a> took her unique blend of insight and smart-ass from a very established place, <em>The New Republic</em>, to her new four-times-weekly newsletter, <a href="https://heated.world/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Heated</a>.</p>
Inside Climate News<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk4OTQ5NC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDAwMjI1NH0.LuLCshsW0p-RYUTmnV_onEOYl6O-nFk_5NekCTrMk8U/img.png?width=980" id="85809" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b5ae2e75d74d498b5c5822348effc7f7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>When a startup site wins a Pulitzer, as <a href="https://insideclimatenews.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Inside Climate News</a> did six years ago, it suddenly no longer looks like a startup. But publisher David Sassoon's masterful adherence to an ambitious business plan can stand as a model for all others. It turns 12 years old this month.</p>
Undark<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk4OTQ5OC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNjEwMjIyM30.CM8-kLBsTmVtil7gUnPxJeQztqcVH-_ALpTENYQX0kI/img.png?width=980" id="db596" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="368aa2520725c3442efe3f06feea135d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p>Another Pulitzer winner, MIT's Deborah Blum, puts out a stream of big-think pieces at <a href="https://undark.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Undark</a>. Its tagline: Truth, beauty, science.</p>
And the list goes on...<p>There are too many other quality sites to mention, but here are four more that shouldn't be ignored: The solution-oriented theme of <a href="https://ensia.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ensia</a>; the urban-ish tone of <a href="https://www.citylab.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">CityLab</a>; the food-oriented scoops of <a href="https://thefern.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">FERN</a>; and the saltwater stories of <a href="https://www.hakaimagazine.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Hakai Magazine</a>.<br></p><p>One recent casualty in the perilous world of nonprofit publishing is Pacific Standard, whose deep dives into environmental stories will be missed. Its main funder pulled the plug in August.</p>
Climate news goes mainstream<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk4OTQ2OC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzkzNjEyMn0.woFxMoIaFoHCPbBnLmVquN--_j7OiXMGXzAS9F--f7E/img.png?width=980" id="223a8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d557231766ca2d437f186def10f624b3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The world's largest gathering of environmental journalists starts Wednesday, with hundreds of journalists focusing on climate change, energy development, water scarcity, population growth and environmental health.
Full agenda<div id="9895f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="JPOLY11574097478"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1149646007266791424" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">In a recent chat with @think_or_swim on next steps for journalism on a heating, fast-forward planet, we touched on… https://t.co/1KiylbsCoc</div> — Andrew Revkin (@Andrew Revkin)<a href="https://twitter.com/Revkin/statuses/1149646007266791424">1562931942.0</a></blockquote></div><p>Wednesday starts with workshops on covering Indian Country and climate change, among others, and include speakers such as <a href="https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/portfolio-view/edward-maibach-4/" target="_blank">Ed Maibach</a> of George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication.</p><p>Thursday shifts the entire conference to the field for reporting trips to the state's oil and gas fields, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Rocky Mountain National Park, among other destinations.</p><p>Friday and Saturday are dedicated to plenary and concurrent sessions, including Bienkowski's session on environmental justice and endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure. Speakers include Patricia Hunt of Washington State University, Tamarra James-Todd of Harvard University's T.H. Chan School of Public Health and freelance reporter Lynne Peeples.</p><p>Sunday concludes with authors Joel Berger, Beth Gardiner, Heather Hansman and Laura Pritchett talking books and botany.</p>
With much fanfare, 170 news organizations signed on to the "Covering Climate Now" initiative.
When I recently received close to 50 pages of internal Monsanto communications about the company's plans to target me and my reputation, I was shocked.
We drink from a firehose of daily information. Now EHN.org has a filter to break the daily news stream into relevant, manageable chunks.
Support real news: Donate today, keep the change tomorrow<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMDUyNTIyOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTk0ODQ2OH0.Se0stY4qkRmsyCM8gV2JQImb_Td4NKiAZ771ldqeWec/img.jpg?width=1200&coordinates=260%2C0%2C260%2C0&height=600" id="fb4b5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0016cc0bd838430b4a46b46e44736fdc" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p> While we have your attention... </p><p> We're an entirely grant- and reader-supported publication, nonpartisan to our core. Every morning our crew is up early, hustling to find, investigate and report on the most relevant environmental news of the day. <a href="https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1437620" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Your support</a> makes this possible. </p><p> We're in the middle of our mid-summer donation campaign. <a href="https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1437620" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Support real news today</a> and keep the change tomorrow. </p><h2 style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1437620"></a><em><a href="https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1437620" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Donate Now</a></em></h2><p> Thank you for reading us. Thanks for being engaged. </p>
EHN reporter Kristina Marusic received an honorable mention for her beat reporting on air pollution in Western Pennsylvania by the Society of Environmental Journalists.
Researchers find people's exposure to PFAS and certain flame retardants could be significantly reduced by opting for healthier building materials and furniture.
Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.
An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.