The Knight-Risser Prize
for Western Environmental Journalism
The Knight-Risser Prize and Symposium are being reimagined to better encourage coverage of important environmental issues affecting the West. Please follow @JSKstanford on Twitter for more information and announcements.

2014 Knight-Risser Prize Symposium
Deadly Measures
Uncovering a Little-Known Agency's Toll on Wildlife

Established to help protect ranchers and farmers from wolves, the federal agency Wildlife Services traps and kills animals from hundreds of species across the United States. Using snares, traps, poisoned carcasses and aerial hunts, since 2000 alone it has exterminated millions of animals, intentionally and inadvertently, from coyotes and bears to birds, beavers, and endangered bald eagles and wolverines — even house pets.

To shed light on this little-known agency, the 2013 Knight-Risser Prize winner Tom Knudson interviewed scores of people across the West — including former Wildlife Services employees — and filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests. His report in the Sacramento Bee, "The Killing Agency," paints a picture of an organization taking wildlife management to extremes.

Please join us on February 5th as we celebrate the Knight-Risser Prize winner and assess the state of investigative environmental journalism. How has the federal crackdown on media leaks affected reporters? What is the potential effect of laws targeting agricultural whistleblowers that passed recently in several states? Tom Knudson will be joined by a panel of journalists and educators to discuss these questions and more.

A reception with light refreshments will follow the event.

Please RSVP using the form below.

Panel Discussion, Award Presentation and Q&A Session

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014
Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge
Stanford University


Thomas Hayden, Moderator
Lecturer in Environmental Journalism
Stanford University

Tom Knudson
Reporter, The Sacramento Bee
Winner, 2013 Knight-Risser Prize for "The Killing Agency"

Ngoc Nguyen
Health and Environment Reporter/Editor
New America Media

Susanne Rust
Environment Reporter
Center for Investigative Reporting

James T. Hamilton
Hearst Professor of Communication
Director, Journalism Program, Stanford University

Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge
Stanford University (at the Medical School)
291 Campus Drive West
Stanford, CA
(View map: Stanford | Google)

The discussion will be followed by a public reception. Please RSVP using the form below.

Parking on campus is free after 4pm.


Panelist Biographies

Thomas Hayden, Moderator

Thomas HaydenThomas Hayden is co-editor of The Science Writers' Handbook. He teaches science writing, environmental journalism and sustainability science in Stanford University’s School of Earth Sciences and Graduate Program in Journalism. Trained as an oceanographer, he has been a science journalist for 15 years, reporting and writing for national and international publications. Hayden was a staff reporter at Newsweek in New York and a senior writer at US News & World Report in Washington, DC. His freelance work includes cover stories for National Geographic, Wired, Smithsonian and many other publications. He is the coauthor of two books and was the lead writer for the 2010 9th revision of the iconic National Geographic Atlas of the World.

Tom Knudson

Tom KnudsonTom Knudson got his start in journalism in 1980 working for the Des Moines Register. Since then, he has worked for The New York Times and since 1988, the Sacramento Bee. Over the years, he has focused on in-depth and investigative reporting and is the recipient of numerous journalistic awards, including two Pulitzer prizes (1985 and 1992), a Reuters-IUCN Global Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting (2006) and the Animal Welfare Institute’s Albert Schweitzer Medal in 2013. Born in western Iowa, Tom is a graduate of Iowa State University where he received a B.A. in journalism and mass communications. He lives near Lake Tahoe in California with his wife and daughter.

Ngoc Nguyen

Ngoc NguyenNgoc Nguyen is a multimedia journalist, whose work on health and the environment has appeared in dozens of publications including The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and national public radio programs. She is environment editor and reporter for New America Media, a national news service for ethnic media. For the last five years, she’s covered environmental stories with a lens on ethnic communities. She’s investigated toxic products in 99 cent stores and workplace hazards for nail salon workers. Her groundbreaking investigation into the health impacts of Agent Orange exposure on Vietnamese Americans appeared on the front page of the San Jose Mercury News and 10 other newspapers. As co-director of New America Media’s environmental journalism fellowship program for ethnic media, she’s mentored dozens of journalists. She’s lectured on environmental coverage in the ethnic press at UCLA, USC, and the University of Rhode Island. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Ngoc has reported extensively throughout the United States and Asia. She's worked as an assistant producer at the public radio business program Marketplace and served as Editor for a national Vietnamese-American magazine. Prior to joining New America Media, she work at the Sacramento Bee, where she reported on environmental issues, through a fellowship from the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting.

Susanne Rust

Susanne RustSusanne Rust is an investigative reporter for The Center for Investigative Reporting focused on the environment. Before joining CIR, Susanne held a John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. She began her journalism career in 2003 at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In her last three years at the Journal Sentinel, she focused much of her reporting on dangerous chemicals and lax regulations, working with colleagues Meg Kissinger and Cary Spivak. The series “Chemical Fallout” won numerous national awards, including a Sigma Delta Chi Award, George Polk Award, and two Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Awards in 2009 and 2010. The series also won the John B. Oakes Award for environmental reporting. Susanne and Meg were finalists in 2009 for the Pulitzer Prize in investigative reporting. She also shared a National Headliner Award in 2010 for a series on conflicts of interest involving doctors and research at the University of Wisconsin.

James T. Hamilton

James T. HamiltonJames T. Hamilton is the Hearst Professor of Communication and the Director of the Journalism Program. His books on media markets and information provision include All the News That’s Fit to Sell: How the Market Transforms Information into News (Princeton, 2004), Regulation Through Revelation: The Origin, Politics, and Impacts of the Toxics Release Inventory Program (Cambridge, 2005), and Channeling Violence: The Economic Market for Violent Television Programming (Princeton, 1998). He is currently working on a book about economic markets for investigative reporting and (with coauthor Fiona Morgan) a book about the information lives of low-income individuals. Through research in the field of computational journalism, he is also exploring how the costs of story discovery can be lowered through better use of data and algorithms. For his accomplishments in research, he has won awards such as the David N Kershaw Award of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the Goldsmith Book Prize from the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, the Frank Luther Mott Research Award, and a Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Fellowship. Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, Hamilton taught at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, where he directed the De Witt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy. He earned a BA in Economics and Government (summa cum laude) and PhD in Economics from Harvard University

Previous symposiums:

2013 Knight-Risser Prize Symposium, February 20, 2013:
“Wildlife, Wired: How Technology Is Changing Nature Reporting”

2012 Knight-Risser Prize Symposium, January 25, 2012:
“Adapting to Dry Times: The Role of the Media in an Increasingly Arid West ”

2010-11 Knight-Risser Prize Symposium, November 17, 2010:
“The Crisis in Western Environmental Journalism”

2010 Risser Prize Symposium, January 27, 2010:
“Visualizing the Environment”

2008 Risser Prize Symposium, March 13, 2008:
“Environmental Fallout of the Cold War”

2005 Risser Prize Symposium, November 1, 2005:
“Water in the West: 21st Century Challenges in a 19th Century Legal Framework”

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Hell and High Water
Texas Tribune, ProPublica
Pumped Dry
The Desert Sun and USA Today
Big Oil, Bad Air
CPI, InsideClimate News, The Weather Channel
Sea Change
The Seattle Times
The Killing Agency
The Sacramento Bee
Perilous Passages
High Country News
Dry Times
5280 Magazine
Chain Saw Scouting
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Logging and Landslides:
What Went Wrong?
The Seattle Times
Climate Change Hits Home
San Antonio Express-News
Blighted Homeland
The Los Angeles Times
Squeezing Water from a Stone
High Country News