The Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT has named Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Timber Wars” podcast as 2021 winner of the celebrated Victor Ok. McElheny Award for native and regional science journalism. The seven-part collection tells the story of how a gaggle of activists and scientists turned a battle over logging and animal safety into one of many largest environmental conflicts of the twentieth century — a battle that also resonates in tradition wars immediately. The podcast is the primary work of audio journalism to win the McElheny Award within the competitors’s three-year historical past.
Judges praised “Timber Wars” for its rigorous reporting, suave storytelling, and deft dealing with of intricate science. “It ticks all of the packing containers: very good craftsmanship and storytelling; pleasant science that’s defined with out pedantry; and actual influence,” stated the jury. “They actually dug into the historical past and have been capable of join it to the present day.” The podcast additionally resonated with policymakers. Oregon State Consultant Dacia Grayber referred to as it “the most effective historical past and tackle this I’ve ever heard.”
“Timber Wars” was conceived and government produced by Ed Jahn, of Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Science and Surroundings staff. Aaron Scott, a producer and reporter for “Oregon Subject Information,” was the podcast’s reporter, author, host, and lead producer. David Steves, Peter Frick-Wright, Robbie Carver, and Laura Gibson contributed to enhancing, manufacturing, sound design, and music composition.
The successful entry topped a big and extremely aggressive discipline of submissions from media retailers throughout the nation. Additionally making the quick listing of finalists have been: The Boston Globe’s “The Virus’s Story,” a day-by-day account of the dealing with of the town’s first Covid-19 instances; an investigation by The Detroit Free Press and Sort Investigations into Detroit housing demolitions and their potential function in youngster lead poisoning; a function by Boston-based WBUR on the search to return loons to their native Massachusetts habitats; and a collection from The Arizona Republic that chronicles how Indigenous Hopi are grappling with local weather change and vanishing water sources.
“It was actually a stellar 12 months for native science reporting,” says Knight Science Journalism Program director Deborah Blum. “It was heartening to see so many insightful and superbly informed tales throughout such a spread of environmental points. These works are a reminder of simply how integral science is to our on a regular basis lives, and the way essential it’s that native journalists obtain assist to inform these tales.”
Named after the Knight Science Journalism Program’s founding director, the Victor Ok. McElheny Award was established to honor excellent protection of science, public-health, know-how, and environmental points on the native and regional stage. Members of the successful “Timber Wars” staff will obtain the award’s $5,000 prize. As a result of pandemic, the Knight Science Journalism Program is not going to maintain an in-person award ceremony this 12 months.
The Knight Science Journalism Program extends a particular due to the award’s jury: Rachel Ehrenberg, Knowable Journal; Sujata Gupta, Science Information; Eric Hand, Science; Emily Laber-Warren, Craig Newmark Graduate Faculty of Journalism at CUNY; Dave Spratt, Institute for Journalism & Pure Assets, and screeners. The McElheny Award is made doable by beneficiant assist from Victor Ok. McElheny, Ruth McElheny, and the Rita Allen Basis.
The 2021 McElheny Award honorees:
- “Timber Wars” (Episodes 1 and a pair of), Oregon Public Broadcasting. (Ed Jahn, Aaron Scott, David Steves, Peter Frick-Wright, Robbie Carver, and Laura Gibson)
The Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT, based greater than 30 years in the past, seeks to nurture and improve the power of journalists from around the globe to precisely doc and illuminate the customarily advanced intersection of science, know-how, and human tradition. It does so by means of an acclaimed fellowship program — which hosts 10 or extra journalists each educational 12 months — and in addition by means of
science-focused seminars, skills-focused grasp courses, workshops, and publications. Because it started, this system has hosted greater than 300 fellows, who proceed to cowl science throughout a spread of platforms in the US, together with The New York Occasions, The Wall Road Journal, Forbes, Time, Scientific American, Science, the Related Press, and broadcast retailers starting from ABC Information to CNN, in addition to in quite a few different international locations.