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June 07, 2011 at 16:00 PM EDT
$75,000 Grantham Prize Winner Announced

2011 Grantham Prize Honors Excellence in Environmental Journalism

NARRAGANSETT, R.I., June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sunshine Menezes, executive director of the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting, and 2010 Grantham Prize winner Alanna Mitchell announced the 2011 winner of The Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment. James Astill of The Economist will receive US$75,000 for "The World's Lungs: Forests, and How to Save Them," a commanding 8-part special report on the state of global forests and the rising threats they face from human exploitation and climate change.

Grantham Prize Jurors described Astill's report as "meticulously researched and a thoroughly reported series deserving acclaim for spotlighting forests as an often-misunderstood component of the international debate on climate change policy."

"It is our great pleasure to recognize James Astill's exhaustive coverage of the perils facing global forests and the innovative approaches toward conserving these critical habitats," said Menezes.

James Astill's journalism career flourished while based in Nairobi covering much of Africa for the Guardian newspaper and The Economist. He won several awards for his dispatches from a dozen African wars. After moving to Islamabad to report on Pakistan and Afghanistan for the same publications, he joined the staff of The Economist in 2004 as defense and security correspondent. In 2007, he moved to New Delhi to be The Economist's South Asian Bureau Chief. Astill took leave in June and July 2010 to travel and report on the world's forests. He has just recently moved to London, where he has been appointed The Economist's Industry Editor.

Grantham Prize Jurors also selected two entries to receive Grantham Awards of Special Merit, each earning a US$5,000 cash prize. These recipients are: Jeff Goodell, author of "How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate," published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and The Associated Press' Investigative Journalism Team for their breaking news coverage of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The AP team included Mike Baker, Seth Borenstein, Jason Bronis, Cain Burdeau, Feilding Cage, David Clark, Jeff Donn, Ron Harris, Michael Kunzelman, Tamara Lush, Rich Matthews, Holbrook Mohr, Richard T. Pienciak, Peter Prengaman, Justin Pritchard, Merrill Sherman and Mitch Weiss.

The Grantham Prize honors outstanding coverage of the environment and recognizes reporting that has the potential to bring about constructive change. It was established to encourage high quality environmental journalism in all media, while drawing attention to the subjects of the prize-winning stories, increasing public awareness and understanding of environmental issues. The Grantham Prize is awarded annually to nonfiction work published or aired in the United States or Canada during the previous calendar year.

Established in 2005, The Grantham Prize for Excellence in Environmental Reporting is funded by Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham through The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and is administered by the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting.

For more information contact Metcalf Institute / Kat Anderson / 401-874-6009 / kat@gso.uri.edu / www.granthamprize.org.

SOURCE Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting

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