The Washington Post Wins 2023 Nina Mason Pulliam Award for Outstanding Environmental Reporting

Announcing the winner of the 2023 Nina Mason Pulliam Award

for Outstanding Environmental Reporting


November 16, 2023 — The winner of the 2023 Nina Mason Pulliam Award for Outstanding Environmental Reporting is "The Amazon, Undone."

Congratulations to Terrence McCoy, Júlia Ledur and Cecília do Lago, with photos by Raphael Alves and Rafael Vilela, of The Washington Post!


Graphic for The Amazon, Undone
Screenshot of first-place story, Carmody Reporting, Large


The Nina Mason Pulliam Award judges chose "The Amazon, Undone" as the "best of the best," after reviewing all the first-place winners of SEJ's 2023 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. The judges wrote:

"Each year, one work of environmental journalism is singled out for the grand prize as the 'best of the best' among the winners of SEJ's annual contest for environmental reporting. The 2023 Nina Mason Pulliam Award goes to a powerful investigative series about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, the policies driving that destruction, and the violent intimidation of those opposing it. In his 'Amazon Undone' stories, Washington Post reporter Terrence McCoy uses dramatic narratives of murders as bookends to frame deep reporting into the the politics and people behind the rampant clearing of Amazon forest despite a growing recognition of the area's importance for combating climate change. The reconstruction of the murders of journalist Dom Phillips and activist Bruno Pereira was compelling. But stories go beyond the tragedy to explain how weak government enforcement and lack of prosecutions encourages clearing of forests to create pasture land for cattle. McCoy gave heft to the stories of governmental collusion with extensive analysis of records on crime, courts, land ownership and campaign contributions. McCoy, the Post's Rio De Janeiro bureau chief, also illuminates how ranchers and beef companies create complex and opaque supply chains to hide links between deforested land and beef that ends up in American grocery stores. Vivid photos, videos and satellite imagery add to the series’ power."


Screenshot of first-place Student Reporting story

The judges also granted an Honorable Mention to "Gaslit," the first-place winner in the Outstanding Student Reporting category!

Judges' comments: "Honorable mention for the Pulliam award goes to a team of students at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication for their data-driven investigation into the under-reporting of methane emissions from flaring and venting by oil and gas companies. The undergraduate and graduate students behind the 'Gaslit' project dug deep to uncover powerful evidence — including original analysis of satellite data — of the ways fossil fuel companies hide the extent of practices that pose a serious threat to the climate, as well as the failure of policymakers and regulators to stop them."

Congratulations to the student reporters from the Cronkite School of Journalism: Aydali Campa, Jimmy Cloutier, Sarah Hunt, Mollie Jamison, Isabel Koyama, Laura Kraegel, Maya Leachman, Michael McDaniel, Andrew Onodera, Kenneth Quayle, Nicole Sadek, Isaac Simonelli, Rachel Stapholz, Sarah Suwalsky, Zoha Tunio, Zachary Van Arsdale and Alexis Young.


>> Back to the Pulliam winners main page.



Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust logo

 The Nina Mason Pulliam Award for the "best of the best" environmental reporting awards $10,000 to the winning entry. The prize also includes travel, registration and hotel expenses (up to $2500) for the winner, or representative of the winning team, to attend SEJ's annual conference.

The Award is sponsored by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, in association with the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Established in the memory of Nina Mason Pulliam, who owned and operated an American national newspaper company with her husband, Eugene C. Pulliam, the Trust is proud to support environmental reporting and journalists who shine light in dark places and keep citizens informed about the pressing environmental issues of our time.

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Contact: Kristina Perez, Director of Communications and External Relations

SEJ Contact:


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