Shi Yi has reported on the environment for Thepaper.cn since its launch in 2014, covering topics such as biodiversity and climate change. Since 2016 she has written for its English-language site Sixth Tone, also owned by the Shanghai United Media Group.
Kalamely Nature Reserve in Xinjiang has been repeatedly diminished to allow for mining, putting rare wildlife at risk. Thepaper.cn journalist Shi Yi filed a series of reports on this, bringing the case to the attention of central government. A subsequent memo from Xi Jinping resulted in an undercover visit by Party Central Committee investigators, as well as a public visit by Zhang Chunxian, Xinjiang Party Secretary, during which plans for the most recent reduction of the reserve were halted. At the end of 2015 the plans were scrapped for good.
This, and other outstanding reports by Shi Yi, won her the Journalist of the Year award. In the southern Africa country of Namibia she investigated the illegal trade in ivory, posing as a buyer to make contact with traders of illegal animal products. On publication of her report local police raided an illegal marketplace. Such reports bolster the international fight against poaching and demonstrate China’s increased awareness of her international responsibilities.
For her outstanding work in 2015, the Journalist of the Year Award goes to Shi Yi.