Congratulations to Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe and Lowell Brown who’s Behind the Shale series won first place in Outstanding Small-Market Reporting, Print at the Society of Environmental Journalists awards.
First Place: Outstanding Small-Market Reporting, Print
Lowell Brown amd Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe
Behind the Shale
Part 1: Eminent Dominance
Part 2: Perils Afoot
Part 3: Culture Clash
Part 4: Voicing the Silence
Part 5: Neighborhood Metamorphosis
The Denton Record-Chronicle’s series “Behind the Shale” sets the standard for reporting on environmental issues at small-circulation publications. With striking personal detail, the paper’s reporters told a great behind-the-scenes story about how land deals really work in Texas. It’s not a pretty sight: example after example showed how the tables are tilted to favor corporations and lawyers over residents and how little government agencies had done to curb abuses. While some of the other entries had more refined prose, the Record-Chronicle deserves the highest marks for laying bare an issue in which virtually everyone in the 18-county region of the Barnett Shale has a stake.
Thank you both so very much!
A big congratulations and thank you to Abram Lustgarten who won third. The Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism:
ProPublica, picked up by WNYC radio, BusinessWeek, Albany Times-Union, San Diego Union-Tribune and the Denver Post
Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies?
New York’s Gas Rush Poses Environmental Threat (Albany Times-Union)
Buried Secrets: Is Natural Gas Drilling Endangering U.S. Water Supplies? (BusinessWeek)
How the West’s Energy Boom Could Threaten Drinking Water for 1 in 12 Americans (San Diego Union-Tribune)
Abrahm Lustgarten’s ProPublica stories on natural gas drilling started in Upstate New York and followed the “fracking” trail westward to Colorado and Wyoming, at each stage carefully documenting how little regulators know about the environmental effects of a drilling process that so many energy companies are rushing to utilize. Thanks in part to these aggressive but fair stories, the risks of hydrofracking are finally being taken seriously by policymakers, and a formerly secretive practice is getting the careful scrutiny it deserves. Bravo to Abrahm Lustgarten and ProPublica for showing that there is a future for probing environmental journalism.