The Knight-Risser Prize
for Western Environmental Journalism

2017 Winner


ProPublica and the Texas Tribune

2017 winners

“Hell and High Water”

Neena Satija, Ryan Murphy, Kiah Collier, Al Shaw and Jeff Larson
ProPublica and The Texas Tribune

(Clockwise from top left) Neena Satija, Kiah Collier, Ryan Murphy, Jeff Larson, and Al Shaw

“Hell and High Water,” a joint project of ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, has won the 2017 Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism. The prize goes to Neena Satija, Ryan Murphy, and Kiah Collier of the Texas Tribune, and Al Shaw and Jeff Larson of ProPublica.

The report looked at the city of Houston and the threat posed to it by hurricanes. Published in late 2016, the report explored a hypothetical storm's potential impact on a low-lying and lightly zoned city, as well as the petrochemical industry located in its port. The exhaustively reported series took on yet more relevance in August 2017, when Hurricane Harvey struck Houston and stalled over it for days, causing extensive flooding.

 

Special Recognitions

“Toxic Armories”

Rob Davis
The Oregonian/OregonLive

Special Recognition was given to “Toxic Armories,” a series by Oregonian reporter Rob Davis, which examined lead dust pollution from hundreds of National Guard armories from Washington state to Vermont.

“The Toxic Air Latinos Breathe”

Jose Corbella and Clemente Alvarez
Univision Noticias

Judges also gave Special Recognition to “The Toxic Air Latinos Breathe,” a series by Univision Noticias reporters Jose Corbella and Clemente Alvarez, which found that communities with the worst air pollution in the United States are often home to predominantly Hispanic populations.


WINNERS OF THE KNIGHT-RISSER PRIZE
2017
Hell and High Water
Texas Tribune, ProPublica
2016
Pumped Dry
The Desert Sun and USA Today
2015
Big Oil, Bad Air
CPI, InsideClimate News, The Weather Channel
2014
Sea Change
The Seattle Times
2013
The Killing Agency
The Sacramento Bee
2012
Perilous Passages
High Country News
2011
Dry Times
5280 Magazine
2010
Chain Saw Scouting
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
2009
Logging and Landslides:
What Went Wrong?
The Seattle Times
2008
Climate Change Hits Home
San Antonio Express-News
2007
Blighted Homeland
The Los Angeles Times
2006
Squeezing Water from a Stone
High Country News