From: Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting
Published June 6, 2012 09:54 AM

$75,000 Grantham Prize Honors Excellence in Environmental Journalism

Click here to Watch Video of The Grantham Prize Winner

WASHINGTON, DC – June 6, 2012 – A three-person team from The Salt Lake Tribune has been awarded the 2012 The Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment.  Brandon Loomis, Rick Egan and Dave Noyce will receive a total of $75,000 for “Our Dying Forests,” an extraordinary series examining the link between climate change and the spread of beetles that are destroying millions of acres of forests in the American West. 

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse named The Grantham Prize winners at the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s Leadership Awards Dinner on June 5, in conjunction with Capitol Hill Ocean Week, the premier ocean conference in our nation’s capital.  Sunshine Menezes, executive director of Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, which administers the prize, introduced the winners to the public at a news conference today at the National Press Club, where Loomis spoke about his special report on forests and the significance of winning the prestigious award.

The Grantham Jury praised the Tribune team’s methodical and measured reporting on this story and noted the series’ potential to help thousands of readers better understand the local impacts of climate change.  “Experts have long been aware of the dangers implicit in the wholesale disappearance of ancient forests,” said Grantham Prize Juror Robert Semple, Jr. of The New York Times.  “Brandon Loomis’ incredible reporting has now deftly alerted a wider public to this important issue.”  

“I'm thrilled to have such recognition for a project we knew from the start was bigger than Utah or the Rocky Mountains,” said Salt Lake Tribune reporter Brandon Loomis.  “I hope reporters everywhere will pick up where we left off to investigate and explain what's happening where they live.”
2012 Grantham Awards of Special Merit
Grantham Prize Jurors also selected three entries to receive the 2012 Grantham Awards of Special Merit.  Each of the following recipients will receive a $5,000 cash prize:

  • Paul Greenberg, author, “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food.” With solid reporting and common sense, Greenberg chronicles the state of four commercially important fish species and offers suggestions for how we can maintain fish supplies while restoring wild runs.
  • Gary Marcuse & Betsy Carson of Face to Face Media with Shi Lihong, “Waking the Green Tiger: A Green Movement Rises in China.” Combining striking archival and new footage, the film follows a citizens’ campaign to stop a massive dam project that would displace 100,000 people along China’s Yangtze River. Strong personal stories from government insiders and witnesses offer a rare glimpse into China’s fledging environmental movement.
  • Delphine Andrews, Whitney Baker, Caitlyn Greene, Hadley Gustafson, Kristen Long, Jeffrey Mittelstadt, Hely Olivares, Catherine Orr, Sarah Riazati, Mimi Schiffman and Catherine Spangler and Laura Ruel of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for the multimedia series “Coal: A Love Story.”  This interactive website represents an unparalleled use of multimedia storytelling, showing diverse perspectives on the role of coal in U.S. electricity generation while offering data-driven interactive graphics that make us understand America’s coal dependence in a fresh and innovative way.
About The Grantham Prize
Established in 2005, the prize is funded by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham through The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and is administered by the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.  Visit for more information about the winners.

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