SEJ Announces the Ray Reece “Excellence in Environmental Journalism” Student Award

Student Award Winners Will Receive
Cash Prize, Trip to SEJ Annual Conference


Image of Ray Reece
Image courtesy of the
Ray Reece Environmental Journalism Foundation
© Ave Bonar

March 11, 2019 — The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) is pleased to announce the launch of the Ray Reece "Excellence in Environmental Journalism” Student Award for environmental reporting by undergraduate, graduate and high-school students.

Funded by the Ray Reece Environmental Journalism Foundation, the award will honor the work of student journalists for content available to the general public.

Ray Reece — teacher, journalist, activist and author — lived in Austin, Texas, until his passing last year. An early proponent of solar energy, Reece’s book, “The Sun Betrayed: A Report on the Corporate Seizure of U.S. Solar Energy Development,” was published in 1979. Because of his steadfast belief in the necessity of sustainable development and the power of the written word to change the world, Ray provided a generous financial gift to reward excellence in environmental journalism through the creation of the Ray Reece Environmental Journalism Foundation.

The foundation’s director, Sandra McCrory, said: "One thing Ray Reece often mentioned was how he regretted never having any children. Supporting career development for young people in a field that he cared passionately about through the Society of Environmental Journalists is an excellent way to honor his financial legacy."

The first-place winner in the student category will receive $500 and the second-place winner will receive $250. In addition, the student winners will be invited to attend SEJ's 29​th​ Annual Conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, and to accept their awards during a luncheon celebrating all of the winners of SEJ’s Awards for Reporting on the Environment. Travel and registration costs for first-, second- and third-place winners (or a selected representative, if a group project) will be covered by the grant from the Ray Reece Foundation.

“Thanks to the Ray Reece Foundation, SEJ will be able to not only recognize excellence in student reporting, but also help student journalists engage with environmental reporters and other experts during our annual conference, providing crucial opportunities to network with potential mentors and employers,” said SEJ’s Awards Director, Chris Bruggers. “We are especially pleased to re-launch the student category during the Year of the Student Journalist,” a global initiative that recognizes the need for and importance of student journalists and journalism education.

Learn more about the Ray Reece “Excellence in Environmental Journalism” Student Award and guidelines for applying.

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