ICN Wins Natl Press Foundation’s Stokes Award for Energy Reporting

'Big Oil + Bad Air' previously won a 2014 EPPY Award and was awarded first place for a large investigation by the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Fracking activity takes place in the Eagle Ford Shale of Texas. Credit: Screenshot from The Weather Channel/ICN/Center for Public Integrity video documentary on "Big Oil + Bad Air."

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The National Press Foundation has honored the collaborative investigative project “Big Oil + Bad Air,” by InsideClimate News, the Center for Public Integrity and The Weather Channel, with its Thomas L. Stokes award for energy writing.

The award, the latest in a string of recognition for the project, was announced Monday in Washington, D.C.

NPF judges called the series, “First-rate investigative work with a human pulse. The collaborative project blended hard facts with a powerful narrative of real people that made you care. The description of fracking consequences in Texas is now playing out elsewhere, in the Bakken and Utica shales. The project triggered meaningful impact, forcing concessions from state regulators.”

“Big Oil + Bad Air” was the result of an eight-month investigation into the hydraulic fracturing boom in south Texas, revealing the toxic chemicals released into the air by oil and gas production  and the widespread impact on public health. It exposes how little the Texas government knows about such pollution in its own state and shows that the Texas legislature is intent on keeping it that way.

InsideClimate News reporters Lisa Song and David Hasemyer were cited by the judges for their work, as were Jim Morris of CPI and Greg Gilderman of The Weather Channel.

“This is a great honor, and valuable recognition for this kind of tenacious, collaborative  journalism across three news organizations,” said David Sassoon, publisher of InsideClimate News. “At ICN, Susan White, who led the project, and Sabrina Shankman, who worked closely with the Weather Channel’s video documentary team, deserve a lot of credit for their contributions, too.”

The Thomas L. Stokes Award was established in 1959 in honor of the late Washington columnist on national affairs. The award is given annually for the best writing on subjects that were of interest to Stokes, including energy and natural resources.

“Big Oil + Bad Air” has previously won a 2014 EPPY Award in the category of Best Investigative/Enterprise Feature on a Website and was awarded first place in the large investigations category by the Association of Health Care Journalists. It was also a finalist in the Investigative Reporters & Editors Awards in the large multimedia category.