Best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues
AWARD DATE: 2016
AWARD NAME: 18 The Whitman Bassow Award
AWARD RECIPIENT: Elliott D. Woods
AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: Virginia Quarterly Review/Pulitzer Center
AWARD HONORED WORK: “The Fight for Chinko”
AWARD SPONSOR: Citi
In a raw and unique tale from the Central African Republic, Woods described in vivid detail how three 20-somethings run the remote, 38,000-square-mile Chinko wildlife preserve. In his lone, intrepid journey, Woods captured the chilling terror and life-threatening peril the small team endures in the course of their work, including how they stave off murderous gunmen and spend months in an overcrowded jail. All this in order to keep alive one of Africa’s most pristine habitats, with herds of elephant, antelope, rhinos and a multitude of other animals. The story, written with sensitivity and attentiveness, cast a light on the grueling, back-breaking effort needed to protect wildlife in a country with no resources, rampant corruption, and brutal horrors.