Earth Journalism Award for COSMOS writer

Luna Media Press Release | 18 December 2009


Global winner: John Pickrell, deputy editor of COSMOS and winner of one of the international Earth Journalism Awards

JOHN PICKRELL, the deputy editor of COSMOS, has taken out the global Climate Change and Nature category at the prestigious 15th Earth Journalism Awards in Copenhagen for a feature article on ocean acidification.


Almost 1,000 journalists, bloggers and citizen reporters from 148 countries entered the competition, with just 15 winners selected by a combination of online votes and an independent jury of media and climate experts.

"We're delighted to see John's talents rewarded at such a prestigious and highly competitive international awards, and that the excellence for which we strive at COSMOS has again been recognised internationally."

Pickrell attended the awards ceremony on 14 December 2009 in Copenhagen, where he is currently reporting on the United Nations Climate Change Conference.


"We're delighted to see John's talents rewarded at such a prestigious and highly competitive international awards, and that the excellence for which we strive at COSMOS has again been recognised internationally," said COSMOS editor-in-chief Wilson da Silva.


Almost 1,000 journalists, bloggers and citizen reporters from 148 countries entered the competition, with just 15 winners selected

"We don't just work hard to produce engaging articles, we strive for excellence in the writing. It's one of the reasons COSMOS has twice won Magazine of the Year, and why we've picked up a total of 35 local and international awards in the past five years," he added.


In his award-winning article, "Oceans of Acid", published in December 2008, Pickrell draws attention to one of the lesser-known impacts of excessive carbon dioxide emissions: the acidification of our oceans.


Thought to have absorbed around 40 per cent of global emissions over the past 200 years, the oceans have acted as a useful buffer for global warming. However, in his in-depth feature John reveals that this may have come at a terrible cost to marine life.


"Though acidification has had a lot less media coverage, there is mounting evidence to suggest that it will be a bigger problem for marine life than the warming of the oceans themselves," Pickrell said, suggesting that the oceans could be heading towards a level of acidity outside anything experienced by organisms in hundreds of thousands of years.


It's the second time Pickrell has scooped an award for the same story: in November 2009, he took out the Best Analytical Writing trophy at the annual Bell Awards for Publishing Excellence, and was a finalist at the 2009 Eureka Award for Environmental Journalism in August.


The Earth Journalism Awards were organised by Internews, an international media development organisation, as a way to increase coverage of climate change in the lead up to United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and to "highlight the efforts of journalists reporting on this challenging subject around the world."

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