California Local Logo

There is an important message:

Donate to the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County Disaster Fund.

Help your neighbors who are impacted or displaced by the recent storms:    https://www.cfscc.org/funds/disaster-fund.org/

CalMatters Journalists Win Awards for ‘Compelling’ and ‘High Quality’ Environmental Coverage

The Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored CalMatters’ work.

PUBLISHED JAN 10, 2023 7:52 P.M.
The California Firefighters Memorial on the state Capitol grounds.  The honored coverage included a series of articles about the struggles firefighters face in the age of the megafire.

The California Firefighters Memorial on the state Capitol grounds. The honored coverage included a series of articles about the struggles firefighters face in the age of the megafire.   Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters

By SONYA QUICK, CalMatters

Our environmental coverage recently won two first-place awards from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists.

Reporter Julie Cart took top explanatory reporting honors in the large print/digital division for “Trial by Fire,” an account of the fatigue and trauma California firefighters endure — including suicide, PTSD and other mental health issues — as the state’s wildfires become more severe and frequent. The series was edited by Deputy Editor Marla Cone.

Independent judges described the work as “a thorough and compelling — and at times heartbreaking — account of the fatigue and trauma California firefighters endure as the state’s wildfires become more severe and frequent.”

The series, judges added, used “high quality photos, videos, illustrations, and data visualizations” to explain “an expansive and unaddressed problem that suggests a broken, depleted fire service…operating in a state that seems in perpetual combustion.”

Reporters Rachel Becker, Nadia Lopez and Cart took top honors in the  environmental reporting category. Our entry on their behalf included stories on marijuana growers stealing water, drought farming, groundwater issues, air quality and environmental justice, and reducing the carbon footprint of cement production. Their stories were edited by Cone.

This work stood out to judges who said they were “unanimously impressed by the excellence of the five stories in CalMatters’ entry, all translated into Spanish.”

Judges also wrote that the “clear writing, deep data and compelling quotes from affected communities meet the highest standards of environment reporting on air-pollution and protection of natural resources. Research into new ways to produce cement and find drought-tailored crops exemplify how fascinating stories drive solutions. The originality of a story on thieves stealing water to grow marijuana lures readers into understanding the loss of a precious resource.”

One judge commented, “Makes me want to learn more about our environment and seek CalMatters as my source.”

Read more CalMatters Journalists Win Awards for ‘Compelling’ and ‘High Quality’ Environmental Coverage’ on CalMatters.



Support California Local

$10 • $25 • $50 • Our Impact
SIGNAL BOOSTER

Short articles which extol the virtues of a report or article put out by a local newsroom.

Related Articles
Key Issues that Will Shape California in 2023
Welcome to 2023 — a year that may prove decisive in California’s attempts to address some major challenges, from housing and homelessness to climate change.