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OPB Recognized for Best Environmental Journalism


The National Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) has presented Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) two awards for outstanding environmental journalism for 2008/09. THE SILENT INVASION: AN OREGON FIELD GUIDE SPECIAL won second-place, and a series of four OREGON FIELD GUIDE stories won a third-place award in the “Outstanding Beat/In-Depth Reporting, Television” category. The SEJ contest is the world’s largest and most-comprehensive awards for journalism on environmental topics and represents the best environmental reporting in print, on television, radio, the Internet and in student publications.

“THE SILENT INVASION is testament to the impact of in-depth research, superb photography and editing, and the willingness to wade — literally — into the weeds and waters where environmental battle is being waged,” commented the judges. “We are transported to the front lines; from the ranchers struggling to keep their connections to the land, to the Customs workers manning the ramparts against the unending tide of biological “invaders.” We commend you for helping to ensure that THE SILENT INVASION will no longer be met with a silent shrug because of your commitment to environmental reporting.”

THE SILENT INVASION premiered on OPB April 2008 and is also the winner of a prestigious duPont Columbia Journalism Award and three regional Emmys. Produced by Ed Jahn, the documentary illustrates how invasive species are changing the environment in Oregon, and focuses on ways people can work together to make a difference to native fish and wildlife resources, Oregon’s economy and quality of life. The broadcast marked the kickoff of the ongoing “Stop the Invasion” campaign that encourages community partners and citizens to collaborate in their efforts to take action against invasive species. More information about THE SILENT INVASION and “Stop the Invasion” is available online at http://www.opb.org/silentinvasion. THE SILENT INVASION production staff also includes Jeff Douglas, Sarah Fox, Todd Sonflieth, Nick Fisher, Michael Bendixen and Bruce Barrow.

Vince Patton, Todd Sonflieth, Nick Fisher, Michael Bendixen and Tom Shrider were recognized for OREGON FIELD GUIDE segments on bighorn pneumonia, carp in the Malheur Refuge, a revealing look under Celilo Falls and mysteries regarding Mount St. Helens. The judges commented that, “OREGON FIELD GUIDE offers a deep exploration of the dilemmas we face as we try to ‘manage’ our biosphere. We humans have learned about ‘unintended consequences’ time and again as we change our environment and watch what unfolds. Whether it is carp that choke a once bountiful lake, a waterfall sacred to Native Americans now submerged by a dam, or the spread of disease from domestic sheep to their bighorn cousins, we have an uncanny way of often creating more problems than we solve. OREGON FIELD GUIDE captures these conundrums with perfect pitch and pace, and we hope they continue to tell those stories in such a compelling fashion.”

Videos of these and other OREGON FIELD GUIDE programs can be viewed online at www.opb.org/programs/ofg/.

About OREGON FIELD GUIDE
In its 20th season, OREGON FIELD GUIDE remains a valuable source of information about outdoor recreation, ecological issues, natural resources and travel destinations. OREGON FIELD GUIDE airs Thursday evenings at 8:30pm on the television stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting and repeats on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm. In the Mountain Time zone of Eastern Oregon, the program airs at 9:30pm Thursdays, and at 7:30pm Sundays.

About OPB
OPB is the state’s most far-reaching and accessible media resource, providing free access to programming for children and adults designed to give voice to community, connect Oregon and its neighbors million people tune in to or log on to OPB’s Television, Radio and Internet delivered services. As the hub of operations for the state’s Emergency Broadcast and Amber Alert services, OPB serves as the backbone for the distribution of critical information to broadcasters and homes throughout Oregon. OPB is one of the largest producers and presenters of national television programming through PBS, and is also a member station of NPR, Public Radio International (PRI), and American Public Media (APM). The OPB Web site is opb.org.

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