博客 Blog

2011 Environmental Press Awards

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


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关于石头纸的报导,我觉得这个奖更应该颁给“创造”了这个“神话”的媒体,没有这些伟大的创举,也就没有我们今天的成就。刘鉴强呢,说得意味深长,“环境记者取得很大成绩时,说明环境正在恶化。” 一方面这是对的,没有坏的环境,那么报导就没有肥沃的土壤;就像世界上消灭了疾病,医生就得失业一样,即便现实不可能,但也是指导着我们的现实生活的。另一方面呢,我们所谓的成就,指的是(99%)找到了问题,但是这个和成就差得远呢。找到了问题很重要,但是这个问题要有代表性,要换得起民众的热情,而不是媒体间的竞争。所以我悲观的认为,这些唤起我们民众意识的文章,还只是文章而已,落实不到行动中,可持续的行动中。今天停止了,明天还要发生。就像我们今天吃饱了,明天还要吃饭一样。呜呼哀哉,不说也罢。

People who lead are leaders. This article seems somewhat self serving, as well as confident and blindly optimistic, to some degree.

However, past experience told us that we might be led to dark waters by the leaders, if unlucky.

As to reports of the stone paper, I think it would be more appropriate if this prize had been awarded to the media who "created the tale". Without these great innovations, there no such things called today's achievements. Liu Jianqiang's words have deep meaning:"The achievements of the reporters have indicated the environment is getting worse!". On one hand, it's true that if there is no bad enironment, then there is no fertile field for stories. Just like if all diseases are cleared then all doctors will be unemployed. On the other hand, what we called achievement is just identifying the problem (99%), yet it can hardly be called achievement. It's important to find the problem only if it is representative and can attract people's attention,not the competition between the media outlets. So I am pessmistic - these reports indeed can remind us about the environmental problems but they are only articles which can not be put into action and change the reality. Well, words are no use and I should stop.

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another kind of “award”

Distribute awards to the media who created this mythology on stone-based paper,what a great idea! Maybe we can set a "Golden Raspberry Award" for environmental journalism.