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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

BBC wins international environment prize for its reporting
The BBC has won the world's richest environment prize, the Zayed Prize, in recognition of its outstanding coverage of environment + sustainable development issues.

Programmes cited by the judges awarding the Zayed Prize include BBC World's one-to-one interview show, Hard Talk, which has developed an effective way of grilling those in position of authority as to why they are not doing their job and the Earth Report (produced in partnership with TVE) which specialises in taking complex issues such as child development, primary health, poverty or desertification, and translating them into mainstream TV programmes. Last but not least, there is the lifelong output of the BBC's Sir David Attenborough, which has brought the beauty + majesty of the natural world into the living rooms and minds of hundreds of millions of people...

This award is richly deserved, and is in part due to the exceptional efforts of a small core of environment correspondents, as well as their support staff + editors. In Earth-Info.Net's opinion some of the environment correspondents who deserve a special mention include:

* Alex Kirby, whose work first came to my attention while I was producing the www.earthsummit.info in the run up the UN's Johannesburg World Summit. In particular, Alex's "Disposable Planet" reports, which were compelling, clear + helped to expose the problems we face, as well as some of their potential solutions. It also happened to be about the best written coverage in the English speaking world, and certainly better than anything produced by the US media, who more-or-less ignored the entire event!

* Roger Harrabin is a radio correspondent for BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Roger has established a formidable reputation for being able to tell the most worthy of stories in a dynamic + accessible way and of exposing the human cost of corruption, environment degradation + resource depletion, as perhaps exemplified by the Costing the Earth series, which he also helped to found.

Other correspondents who deserve a mention include Tim Hirsch + Jonathan Kent.

However, in the end, none of it would be possible without the BBC, the way it is funded + it's editorial standards... and this is why this recognition is so well deserved.