Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bohai spill: Citizen journalism triumphs at China environmental press awards | Environment |

Citizen journalism triumphs at China environmental press awards | Environment |

Winners list for the China environmental press awards

Journalist of the year: Feng Jie, Southern Weekend
Recognised for Bohai oil spill special report, north China cities facing water supply crisis and monitoring air quality for my country.
The citizen journalist prize is a new category in the awards, which are jointly organised by the Guardian, chinadialogue and Sina, the leading Chinese web portal, with funding from the Guardian Foundation and SEE, a Chinese charitable body.
Now in its third year, the awards highlighted the gains – and continued challenges – faced by Chinese journalists. The past 12 months have showed significant progress in the efforts to improve transparency, but also major obstacles.
Internationally, the highest profile success was a campaign by journalist-turned-environmental activist Ma Jun to make Apple provide more details about pollution and labour standards violations in its supply chain.
Domestically, the biggest breakthrough is probably on air pollution. Most ofChina's cities have been plagued by smog for more than a decade, but until now the authorities have provided scant information about the pollution that caused the haze and threatens the health of millions. This changed dramatically after Chinese bloggers and journalists picked up on tweets issued from the US embassy monitoring station and other sources, with environmental authorities in Beijing starting to release more detailed pollution data earlier this year.
Feng Jie, who was named environmental journalist of the year, wrote a darkly humorous piece on the efforts of Beijing citizens to set up their own monitoring stations. In another in-depth report, she revealed how a massive oil leak into the Bohai Sea was withheld from the public by the State Oceanic Administration and drilling platform operators, CNOOC and ConocoPhillips. Reporters in the state media were ordered to keep quiet but the problem emerged via microblogs and was then confirmed by local government and corporate sources.

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