Inside Public Integrity

Published — August 3, 2015

‘Big Oil, Bad Air’ wins environmental journalism award


The Center for Public Integrity’s “Big Oil, Bad Air” project, a collaboration with InsideClimate News and the Weather Channel on toxic air emissions in Texas shale fields, has won the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Kevin Carmody Award for outstanding in-depth reporting from a large-market outlet.

The 20-month investigative series showed how hydraulic fracturing in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas has endangered public health and generated billions of dollars for oil companies, while generating little oversight from industry-friendly regulators. The stories helped lead to the installation of a new air monitor in one of the heaviest drilling areas.

Judges called the series an “exhaustive and relentless” examination and noted, “The reporting here is solid, and the multimedia work is both captivating and thorough. The organizations proved their commitment to the inquiry by keeping at it, story after story. This commendable work upholds the best traditions of investigative reporting.”

This is the fourth first-place award for the “Big Oil, Bad Air” series in a national journalism contest. Reporters, editors and producers on the project included:

For The Center for Public Integrity: managing editor for environmental health and labor Jim Morris, reporters Ben Wieder, Jamie Smith Hopkins, Rosalind Adams, David Heath, multi-media editor Eleanor Bell, data editor Alex Cohen, news applications developer Chris Zubak-Skees and former reporter Alan Suderman.

For InsideClimate News: Lisa Song, David Hasemyer, Paul Horn, Zahra Hirji, Susan White, Sabrina Shankman, Marcus Stern, Hannah Robbins, and David Martin Davies.

For The Weather Channel: Gregory Gilderman, Neil Katz, Faisal Azam, Eric Jankstrom, Shawn Efran, and Katie Wiggin.

In addition, CPI senior reporter David Heath received an honorable mention in the contest for his work on “The Politics of Poison”, a collaboration with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, and Michigan Radio.

Judges said “this wonderful package followed the data, the money and the politics while telling a story of national importance.”

The Society of Environmental Journalists journalism contest is “the world’s largest and most comprehensive awards for journalism on environmental topics.”

All of the award winners will be honored at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ 25th annual conference in Oklahoma in October.

Read more in Inside Public Integrity

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