Stories that impact the environment, and consequently the health of both people and animals, have long been a focus of journalists across the nation and increasingly, the globe.
Most recently, a chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia that tainted the water supply and left nearly 300,000 residents without drinking water made national news.
The Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism is given for journalism in any media that best spotlights an environmental issue or story in western Canada, the United States or Mexico. However, entries are not limited to journalists from western news organizations.
The prize, which awards winning journalists $5,000, stresses stories that expose undiscovered or covered-up problems, explain detailed solutions that can be employed, and most importantly help readers understand the broader significance of the issues being covered, beyond the immediate details of the stories at hand.
The scope of the award applies to the United States west of the Mississippi River, Canada west of Ontario, including Nunavut, and all of Mexico.
Journalists working for U.S., Canadian or Mexican newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and online sites accessible to the general public are eligible to apply, as are freelancers.
Work which appears in publications or programs connected to government agencies, advocacy organizations, or to business or trade organizations with a financial stake in environmental issues, is not eligible.
Entries should be predominantly about an environmental subject occurring in or affecting the North American West, and must have been published, broadcast or posted during the calendar year of the current prize. Series that began in one year and ended in another are eligible but may be entered only once.
For entry information or to download official entry forms for the 2014 Knight-Risser Prize, click here.
The deadline for entries to be received is Saturday, March 15, 2014.