|UNC multimedia team takes Grantham merit award for environmental reporting|
|Wednesday, June 13, 2012|
A 12-member team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication won a $5,000 Grantham award of special merit for the interactive series “Coal: A Love Story.” The innovative website uses multimedia storytelling to inform the public about the role of coal-based power in America and its impact on society.
“This team has taken multimedia reporting to a new level with this impressive and novel approach to journalism,” said Sunshine Menezes, executive director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, which administers the prize. “The compelling videos and data-driven graphics make us see America’s relationship with coal in a new light.”
“Coal: A Love Story” investigates the political, economic, and scientific tensions behind the use of coal to generate electricity in the United States and invites the public to experience different perspectives through an interactive website. The award recipients are fellows in the News21 program, a national initiative of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Members of the winning team include UNC undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates: Delphine Andrews of Danville, Va.; Whitney Baker of Graham; Caitlyn Greene of Cary; Hadley Gustafson of Carrboro; Kristen Long of King George, Va.; Jeffrey Mittelstadt of Davidson; Catherine Orr of Charlottesville, Va.; Sarah Riazati of Marietta, Ga.; Mimi Schiffman of Davis, Calif.; and Catherine Spangler of Chapel Hill. Hely Olivares is a Harvard University master’s student from Trujillo, Peru. The team is led by Laura Ruel, UNC assistant professor in visual communication and multimedia production.
“It makes me so proud to see the students’ hard work honored with such a prestigious award,” said Ruel, the project’s executive producer. “The jurors’ recognition of the students’ innovative methods of storytelling, as well as their adherence to sound journalism, is one of the highest compliments and honors they could receive. We are truly thrilled and humbled.”
The Grantham Prize, established in 2005, is funded by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham through The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and is administered by the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. To learn more about The Grantham Prize winners, visit www.granthamprize.org.