The 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting went to InsideClimate News, a 5-year-old web-only nonprofit, for its book-length feature series on the 2010 Enbridge tar-sands oil spill that fouled miles of Michigan's Kalamazoo River. InsideClimate has been one of the most aggressive media outlets covering the current spill in Mayflower, Arkansas. ExxonMobil recently threatened one of InsideClimate's reporters with arrest for trying to find a federal government press office handling the spill.
Journalism & Media
"Decades ago, when a U.S. EPA administrator was on the brink of retirement, employees wheeled a giant cardboard box into his office. Inside: an employee known for his tendency to disparage the agency's decisions in the press."
The livestock industry, which has been successfully urging state legislatures to pass bills hamstringing exposes of animal cruelty, has a new tactic that hobbles long-term undercover investigations of feedlots and slaughterhouses.
SEJ's 30-day "WeDidIt" crowdfunding campaign to send journalists to its annual environmental journalism conference, taking place October 2-6, 2013 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, ended on June 7th. Thank you to our generous contibutors!!
SEJ member Elizabeth H. McGowan and her InsideClimate News colleagues Lisa Song and David Hasemyer won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their “The Dilbit Disaster” entry, an investigative piece uncovering what really happened when millions of gallons of tar sands oil from Canada poured into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River after a pipe burst. They were also named as a finalist in the Environmental Reporting category of the 2012 Scripps Howard Awards competition; earned an honorable mention in the 2012 John B. Oakes Award contest presented by the Columbia University School of Journalism; and won the 2012 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism presented by Hunter College.
In recent years the Obama administration has taken secrecy to a new level by failing to respond to even many routine inquiries by the news media about what this important agency is doing in regard to human health and protecting the environment. With Gina McCarthy's nomination to head the EPA facing confirmation, it's time for the Senate to ask some hard questions. Read SEJ's statement on the need for greater EPA openness with the media and resulting coverage.
"On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks."
Reports from the spill of tar sands oil from an ExxonMobil pipeline at Mayflower, Arkansas, indicate that reporters are being kept from doing their jobs. They are kept far away from the oil, threatened with arrest, and told things that aren't true. It looks like Exxon — not federal clean-up agencies — is running the press operation. The result may be skewed or scant coverage — possibly a boon for an Obama administration facing a tough choice on the Keystone XL pipeline. More on media access at The Daily Glob.
"InsideClimate News reporter Lisa Song was threatened with arrest on Wednesday after she entered the command center for the cleanup operation in Mayflower, Ark., where a major oil pipeline spill occurred on Friday."