“The Record views the Grantham Prize as a statement that environmental journalism will no longer take a back seat to any other issue. While we were the first to be recognized, it set the stage for future ambitious projects that identify and impel solutions to serious threats to the planet. The Grantham meant a lot to us because it also celebrated local environmental journalism, something more newspapers are focusing on. The Grantham says not only is this acceptable, it is exceptional.”
Frank Scandale, Editor
The Grantham Prize honored over 120 journalists for their coverage of broadly significant environmental issues. In this way, the prize sought to encourage high quality reporting on the environment and to expand public understanding of these issues.
Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham established The Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment in September 2005 to annually recognize and honor the work of one journalist or team of journalists for exemplary reporting on the environment.
“The public deserves ready access to the kind of information and news that only outstanding independent journalism can provide,” the Granthams said in announcing the prize, which was administered by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. Mr. and Mrs. Grantham created the annual award of US$75,000 to “give that kind of exceptional reporting the honor, respect, and visibility it needs.”
In addition to encouraging outstanding coverage of the environment, the prize also recognized reporting that had the potential to bring about constructive change, and to broadly disseminate the Prize-winning story to increase public awareness and understanding of issues focusing on the environment.
The Prize was awarded annually to nonfiction work originally produced in the U.S.A. or Canada during the previous calendar year in newspapers, magazines, and books and on television, cable, radio, and online.
Among the criteria jurors considered was the significance of the subject matter, quality and originality of the journalism, and the effort involved in telling the story. The Grantham Prize entries were judged by an independent panel of five jurors, chaired by David Boardman, executive editor of The Seattle Times. Also serving as jurors were Robert B. Semple, Jr., The New York Times; Deborah Potter, Newslab, and veteran journalist; James Hamilton, Charles S. Sydnor Professor of Public Policy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and Director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy; and Susanne Reber, NPR News. The prize jury coordinator was Bud Ward, veteran journalist and journalism educator.
The Grantham Prize was funded by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham through The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment. The foundation seeks to raise awareness of urgent environmental issues and supports individuals and organizations working to find solutions. To this end, the foundation supports communication and collaboration in environmental protection, with an emphasis on climate change. Jeremy Grantham is a Boston-based investment strategist and Hannelore Grantham is Director of The Grantham Foundation. Read more about Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham's philanthropy here.
The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting was established at the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography in 1997 with funding from three journalism foundations and the Belo Corporation, The Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, and the Philip L. Graham Fund, and also from the Telaka Foundation. The Institute was established as a memorial to the late Michael Metcalf, a visionary leader in newspaper journalism and, from 1979 to 1987, the Publisher of The Providence Journal Bulletin. The Metcalf Institute is a national leader in providing science immersion experiences for reporters and editors, with the mission of improving the accuracy and clarity of reporting on pressing environmental issues.