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ProPublica Wins Inaugural Covering Climate Now Journalism Award

Judges described “The Great Climate Migration” as “breathtaking in its ambition and scope” and “impossible to ignore.”

ProPublica won an inaugural Covering Climate Now Journalism Award in the special coverage, series or issue category for “The Great Climate Migration.” “Our goal in starting Covering Climate Now was to cultivate more and better journalism on climate change,” said Kyle Pope, the editor and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review. “The winners are leading the way, showing us all how to cover a story that is increasingly shaping the future.”

In “The Great Climate Migration,” a project by ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine with support from the Pulitzer Center, ProPublica environmental reporter Abrahm Lustgarten, alongside Al Shaw, Meridith Kohut, Lucas Waldron and photographer Sergey Ponomarev, showed how climate refugees might move across international borders as climate change makes certain areas unlivable.

In a series of stories that followed, Lustgarten examined the warming of the planet and how climate change is beginning to spur a mass migration of Americans, shifting perhaps millions of people across the map and changing the way the country looks and works. Using a first-of-its-kind mathematical model to forecast the effects of climate change on the movements of communities, the stories explored the future of a world shaped by climate-driven migration and shared the experiences of people for whom this displacement has already begun.

“Breathtaking in its ambition and scope,” judges wrote, “this series pulled together familiar threads about the impact of climate change on migration with a renewed sense of urgency, on a truly global canvas. Painstaking data journalism combined with absorbing storytelling explained what we are seeing today, and what the world might look like tomorrow, with visuals that were impossible to ignore.”

“Powerful storytelling, science-based reporting and cultural sensitivity are at the heart of this collection of extraordinary journalism,” said Mark Hertsgaard, executive director of Covering Climate Now and environment correspondent for The Nation.

Read the full list of winners.

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