$1 million over three years to hire a 4th reporter for environmental news. They cover it well with three and so a fourth will improve that.

The Times-Picayune and The Advocate have been awarded a new three-year grant that will allow the newspapers to continue and expand their coastal and environmental reporting. The grant, totaling a little more than $1 million, will cover the cost of a four-member reporting team based in New Orleans and other expenses. The money comes from the Walton Family Foundation and is administered by the Society of Environmental Journalists. Those organizations have been supporting the newspapers’ coastal and environmental reporting for the last five years. The initial grant covered two reporters, and the subsequent one covered three. The latest grant, which began Jan. 1, is the largest to date. The team covers a wide range of topics, ranging from depleted fisheries to industrial pollution to the eroding coastline and what can be done to mitigate it. The team’s work has been honored with numerous national awards, most notably the 2020 Nina Mason Pulliam Award for outstanding environmental reporting. “We appreciate the confidence of the Walton Foundation and SEJ in helping us sustain and expand coverage of these important issues,” said Peter Kovacs, editor of the newspapers. “No state needs comprehensive environmental reporting more than Louisiana,”

I can agree, we here in Louisiana need this coverage more than others as we lose land to rising waters and hurricanes don’t help.

“Quality, independent journalism is essential to helping keep the public informed and connected to coastal restoration efforts,” said Moira Mcdonald, director of the Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Program. “The Coastal Desk reporting provides the people of Louisiana critical insight on one of the largest environmental restoration efforts in the world.” “The Society of Environmental Journalists is honored to facilitate support for the four reporting staff positions on the Coastal Desk team at The Times-Picayune | The Advocate, which has produced award-winning investigative and explanatory coverage of complex environmental issues in coastal communities on the frontlines of climate change,” said Meaghan Parker, SEJ’s executive director. “We are grateful for the Walton Family Foundation’s commitment to helping increase and improve environmental journalism by supporting the people who produce it.”

A brief announcement that will reap rewards. Coupled with a new editor, one whose former paper earned awards, the Advocate will be primed for that. It might mean more articles to post but I can live with that!

Advocate gets $1M to improve environmental news