Women Greening Journalism: Important for the Environment and for Equal Rights

Because it operates eleven North Carolina-specific local chapters, The Audubon Society is particularly relevant to this summer’s #MooreRivers focus. In honor of Women’s Equality Day, we also applaud Audubon for its recognition of female journalists focused on the environment – a.k.a., women greening journalism. It is notoriously difficult to headline or even to publish conservation stories to mainstream media channels, so the work of these women is impressive and laudable. Their dedication to an increasingly urgent environmental cause is essential—a testament to Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, who in 1962 laid the foundation for a modern environmental movement. Fittingly, Audubon’s most prestigious Women in Conservation award now bears her name. Each of the 27 honorees has made notable contributions to environmental journalism, forever changing the field.

Bonnie Lane Webber is a prolific environmental activist whose work raising awareness throughout New York’s Upper East Side began in the 1980s. For 25 years, her column in the Carnegie Hill Newsletter has encouraged her community to protect its natural resources. She also created Grass-Roots, a forum for voicing environmental concerns. A champion of education, Bonnie now chairs the Sierra Club NYC Group Sustainability Series.

Ucilia Wang and Josie Garthwaite, two journalists from California, co-founded Climate Confidential to generate reports on the “crossroads of environment and technology.” While their investigative journalism publicizes environmental developments, they are simultaneously creating a movement to make independent environmental journalism widely available. Other honorees, such as Celeste LeCompte and Mary Catherine O’Connor, contribute to the journal. Read their comprehensive articles here:

Sara Bernard is a multimedia journalist from Seattle, WA. She merges environmental and social justice, and her work has touched numerous outlets. Her crowning achievement thus far has been a Grist article in which she conducted an extensive investigation of Mississippi’s Kemper County Energy Facility, titled “The Cost of Clean Coal.” She examined the development of the country’s first gasification coal plant, which can limit the carbon emissions it releases. While such limitation potential is promising, its economic benefits to the community have been largely overstated. In addition, climate scientists fear an increased reliance on fossil fuels if the plant proves successful. According to them, to truly curb climate change, coal should simply be left untouched. Read more here:

The environmental movement would be entirely incomplete without these women. We thank them for the rising status of conservation on the global agenda, and we look forward to supporting their future efforts. Thank you, Audubon, for recognizing and promoting their truly commendable work.