Journalism comes back down to Earth

Press Gazette has launched a new set of awards to recognise the growing importance of journalism which deals with environmental issues.

Once considered ‘fringy’– environmental journalism is no longer the preserve of a few niche publications, but has become a staple of newspapers and news bulletins, both national and local, and on websites and magazines.

Now frequently on the front pages, there is a proliferation of special sections both in print and on the web devoted to green issues.

And because environmental issues have moved from the margins to the mainstream, the pioneers in the field now find they have to work harder to maintain their distinctiveness.

It is in recognition of the significance of the work done by the journalists reporting on the complex issues of climate change and the other threats to the planet that Press Gazette is launching its Environmental Press Awards in 2008.

Launched in association with car-maker Peugeot, the awards will recognise the journalist, story and campaign in the UK that have made significant contributions to understanding and awareness of environmental issues.

There will also be a judges’ special award for the environmental news broadcaster, publication or website of the year.

They will be voted for by a panel of experts and journalists with specialist knowledge of environmental issues, and be presented at an awards lunch to be held in London on 19 November, 2008.

There will be a £1,000 prize for the journalist of the year whose work is deemed by the judges to have made an exceptional contribution to understanding of environmental issues.

The awards are open to all journalists, publications, channels, broadcasters and websites for their work covering environmental issues.

Reporters and writers and photographers working for news agencies are also eligible, as are freelance journalists.

The environmental journalist of the year will be able to predict trends, analyse stories and explain issues to a general audience. This award will decide who has the best insight into the complex field, the must-read environmental journalist whose work is not only agenda-setting but demonstrates a compelling style in news reporting, colour writing and analysis.

Entries should comprise three examples of work, submitted electronically.

For the story of the year, the judges will be looking for an exclusive story, an exposé or investigation that provided a powerful new angle, challenged established thinking on a subject, or contributed to public understanding and awareness to set the agenda. Entry should be again submitted electronically.

The campaign of the year will be awarded in recognition of the piece of work, or series of pieces, that have brought about change on an environmental issue. Judges will be looking at the impact of the campaign, for a clear sense of purpose and direction, and a demonstrative effect, as well as commitment and investment in the project.

A series of excerpts from the campaign and supporting materials should all be sent in by email.

The judges’ award will be selected by the panel for the news organisation, publication, website or broadcaster that has made the most significant contribution to the field of environmental journalism. Entries will be sent in electronically, comprising a supporting statement of no more than 500 words, along with supporting material such as pdf cuttings, weblinks and video clips.

To qualify, all entries must have been published between 1 September 2007 and 31 August 2008.

The closing date for entries is 15 September. There are no entry fees. Entries should be sent to apont@pressgazette.co.uk.

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