In August 2020 over 18 months of reporting paid off with my investigative feature Who Killed The Supergrid – an InvestigateWest production co-published with The Atlantic. Today that work and its immediate impact was recognized with an investigative journalism award from Covering Climate Now. That consortium, created in 2019 by the Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation, The Guardian and WNYC, has since grown into a who’s who of international media, and I’m honoured that they picked my work from more than 600 nominated entries.
In the words of the judges:
This meticulous story revealed the Trump administration’s deliberate effort to bury a federally funded study that provided evidence that a connected super grid would accelerate the growth of wind and solar energy. The story made the abstraction of the nation’s power grid interesting, and Fairley’s explosive disclosures also led to regulatory change.
Individual panelists added commentary during the video awards celebration (see below). Giles Trendle, Managing editor for Al Jazeera English, called my story, “another great example of holding power to account.”
I have thanked many of the talented people who contributed to this success in the Twitter thread at right. But a few bear repeating:
My friend, longtime SEJ colleague, and editor Robert McClure, co-founder of InvestigateWest, jumped at the opportunity to take on my project and helped me take it all the way. I’m grateful that ‘just good enough’ isn’t in Robert’s DNA.
The team at The Atlantic, including Ellen Cushing and Faith Hill, further improved the prose and managed a very thorough fact check.
And the Fund for Investigative Journalism provided financial support plus access to a valuable pre-publication legal review by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
FYI the awards video hosted by ‘America’s weatherman’ Al Roker and NBC Live NOW anchor Savannah Sellers showcases all of the 2021 award program’s winning entries from around the world. It’s inspiring and informative. Definitely worth watching, and sharing…