On April 13, the results of the second Environmental Press Awards were announced in Beijing. There were a total of 14 different awards, more than last year. This reflected that 2010 was a year of frequent environmental disasters for China.
One of the judges, chinadialogue’s Beijing-based deputy editor, Liu Jianqiang, said: “The environmental press has made great achievements in reporting how the environment is deteriorating.”
Ecological disasters during 2010 included: contamination from mines owned by Zijin in southeast China; the oil spill in Dalian, northeast China; the Zhouqu landslide and the Yushu earthquake, in northwest China. These events were subject to close media attention, resulting in a number of excellent, in-depth and sharp reports that promoted greater public understanding and participation in environmental issues.
The Environmental Press Awards were co-organised by chinadialogue and The Guardian newspaper, with Sina as the media partner, along with the China Science and Technology Museum and the China Digital Science and Technology Museum as strategic partners. The awards aim to recognise China’s outstanding environmental journalists and promote the healthy development of environmental protection in China. Judging the articles were Liu Jianqiang, deputy editor in chief and director of Sina News Centre, Zhou Xiaopeng, and The Guardian’s Asia environment correspondent Jonathan Watts.
The awards included: best investigative report, most influential report, two winners for best in-depth report, and best human interest story.
Southern Metropolis Daily reporter Yang Chuanmin’s article, “Zijin’s poisoned legacy”, won one of the best in-depth report awards. She reported on the legacy of the Zijin Mining spill in Shanghang county, Fujian province, and the effects of mining on the surrounding environment and the threat of more lasting damage. Judges at the award ceremony said that the most valuable aspect of this report is that over a month after this “hot” news event occurred, the reporter returned to the scene of the event after it had “cooled” and started digging in search of the truth.
Geng Dong’s “The birdwatching lama of Qinghai”, published in China National Geographic, won the best human interest story award. It is a vivid story of a lama in northwest China who paints and protects birds. He has observed 393 species of birds on the Tibetan Plateau and painted them all. The judging panel said: “This piece allows us to see the great power of protection by traditional culture and folk.”
chinadialogue editor Isabel Hilton said in a recorded speech: “Achieving sustainable development in China requires the effort of millions of people in many different walks of life, and China's environmental journalists are at the heart of that effort.”
The winning entries will be published bilingually on the chinadialogue website. Selected winners will be republished in English on The Guardian website.
Top prize winners:
Best investigative report
A green paper tiger?
By Lu Zongshu, Southern Weekly
Best in-depth report (two winners)
1) Zijin's poisoned legacy
By Yang Chuanmin, Southern Metropolitan Daily
2) The Alarm from Zhouqu
By Gong Jing, Wang Heyan, Zhang Ruidan, New Century Weekly
Best human interest story
The birdwatching lama of Qinghai
By Geng Dong, Shanshui Conservation Centre
Most influential report
Burned by the sun: solar subsidies and poor oversight in China
By Yuan Ying, Southern Weekly