InsideClimate News is celebrating 10 years of award-winning journalism this month and its growth from a two-person blog into one of the largest environmental newsrooms in the country. The team has already won one Pulitzer Prize and was a finalist for the prize three years later for its investigation into what Exxon knew about climate change and what the company did with its knowledge.
At an anniversary celebration and benefit on Nov. 1 at Time, Inc. in New York, the staff and supporters looked back on a decade of investigations and climate news coverage.
The online news organization launched in 2007 to help fill the gap in climate and energy watchdog reporting, which had been missing in the mainstream press. It has grown into a 15-member newsroom, staffed with some of the most experienced environmental journalists in the country.
"Our non-profit newsroom is independent and unflinching in its coverage of the climate story," ICN Founder and Publisher David Sassoon said. "Our focus on accountability has yielded work of consistent impact, and we're making plans to meet the growing need for our reporting over the next 10 years."
ICN has won several of the major awards in journalism, including the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for its examination of flawed regulations overseeing the nation's oil pipelines and the environmental dangers from tar sands oil. In 2016, it was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its investigation into what Exxon knew about climate science from its own cutting-edge research in the 1970s and `80s and how the company came to manufacture doubt about the scientific consensus its own scientists had confirmed. The Exxon investigation also won the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism and awards from the White House Correspondents' Association and the National Press Foundation, among others.
In addition to its signature investigative work, ICN publishes dozens of stories a month from reporters covering clean energy, the Arctic, environmental justice, politics, science, agriculture and coastal issues, among other issues.
It produces deep-dive explanatory and watchdog series, including the ongoing Choke Hold project, which examines the fossil fuel industry's fight to protect its power and profits, and Finding Middle Ground, a unique storytelling series that seeks to find the common ground of concern over climate change among Americans, beyond the partisan divide and echo chambers. ICN also collaborates with media around the country to share its investigative work with a broad audience.
"Climate change is forcing a transformation of the global energy economy and is already touching every nation and every human life," said Stacy Feldman, ICN's executive editor. "It is the story of this century, and we are going to be following it wherever it takes us."
More than 200 people attended the Nov. 1 gala. Norm Pearlstine, an ICN Board member and former vice chair of Time, Inc., moderated "Climate Journalism in an era of Denial and Deluge" with Jane Mayer, a staff writer for the New Yorker and author of "Dark Money," ICN senior correspondent Neela Banerjee, and Meera Subramanian, author of ICN's Finding Middle Ground series.
The video above, shown at the gala, describes the first 10 years of ICN, the organization's impact, and its plan for the next 10 years as it seeks to build a permanent home for environmental journalism.