September 21, 2021

Event Coverage Highlight

OPC Award Winners Share Their Stories: Whitman Bassow Award

Tom Warren, left, and Katie J.M. Baker.

Join the OPC for a discussion with this year’s winners of the Whitman Bassow Award, Tom Warren and Katie J.M. Baker of BuzzFeed News, who won for their series, “WWF’s Secret War.”

The head judge for the award, Kim Murphy of The New York Times, will moderate.

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Judges said:

“The World Wildlife Fund for Nature is the world’s largest conservation organization; its familiar panda logo is an icon of the environmental movement. Yet an eye-opening investigation by BuzzFeed News revealed that the group’s alliances with park rangers and paramilitary groups tasked with confronting wildlife poachers have had a deadly human cost. With meticulous research, careful documentation and round-the-world interviews, the reporters laid out a record of rape, torture and murder committed by WWF’s partners in the increasingly militarized world of wildlife conservation. BuzzFeed’s stories led the WWF to overhaul its human rights guidelines, even as Congress investigated how the U.S. government could have unwittingly helped fund such atrocities. Amid a range of highly accomplished work on environmental issues this year, the judges found this reporting merited the highest honor.”