The Whitman Bassow Award 2020

Abrahm Lustgarten, left, and Meridith Kohut

Best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues


AWARD NAME: The Whitman Bassow Award 2020

AWARD RECIPIENTS: Abrahm Lustgarten and Meridith Kohut

AWARD RECIPIENT AFFILIATION: The New York Times Magazine and ProPublica with support from the Pulitzer Center

AWARD HONORED WORK: “Refugees From the Earth”


Lustgarten spent two years reporting in places as far-flung as Guatemala and Eastern Russia, for this sweeping series about climate migration. It’s a rich tapestry of individual voices, computer modeling and essay writing, including a meditation on whether it’s time to flee from fires engulfing his home in Northern California. We meet Jorge A., a Guatemalan farmer driven by drought to cross the border into the U.S., and a Chinese man named Dima who moves north into Russia to grow soybeans. The writing is spellbinding, the scope ambitious and the result scary, as Lustgarten contemplates a not-too- distant future in which one-fifth of the world’s surface area will be uninhabitable and tens of millions of people are forced to leave their homes. Kohut’s photography brings into sharp focus the people and the ways in which a changing climate is driving their movements.

Where Will Everyone Go?

About Our Climate Migration Model

Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration

The Big Thaw: How Russia Could Dominate a Warming World

Citation for Excellence:
Drew Ambrose, Rhiona Jade-Armont, Nick Olle and Sharon Roobol
Al Jazeera English in collaboration with Mongabay, The Gecko Project and Korea Center for Investigative Journalism
“101 East – Selling West Papua”

Watch pre-recorded acceptance remarks via the window below: