Brazilian journalism team reporting on dams in Amazon wins award


Journalists winners of Petrobrás awards, photo courtesy of Agência Pública.

Mongabay congratulates Agência Pública for being the recent recipient of the Petrobrás Award. The journalism team was awarded for their special investigative report, funded by Mongabay’s Special Reporting Initiatives Program, on threats currently facing the Tapajós River valley and the communities that call the valley their home.

The awards ceremony was held last week, during which Agência Pública was awarded the Petrobrás Journalism Award in the National category – Environmental Responsibility – News Portal on the Internet.

“The Petrobrás is a very reputable award in Brazil and we are very glad to have won two years in a row,” said Tina Leme Scott, Project Manager for Agência Pública. “Actually this year we won twice – another story about people who still have no electricity in Brazil was also awarded!”

Agência Pública’s reporting on the Tapajós River valley also placed second for the fourth edition Republic Award of National Association of Prosecutors (Associação Nacional dos Procuradores da República [ANPR]) under the Web Journalism Category. The first place award went to another Pública article about a resort in the indigenous land of Ceara.

“For us it is a great recognition from a very important institution, the Association of Prosecutors, who increasingly are taking our stories and moving forward with investigations that are sparked by their revelations,” said Scott.

The fourth edition Republic Award received 81 entries in 11 categories, nine members aimed at initiatives of the Federal Public Ministry, one for journalists and one for social responsibility projects. The winners were invited to participate in a dinner offered by the ANPR to celebrate the victory and the partnership between the entities engaged in the promotion of justice and the defense of democratic rule of law.

The president of the ANPR, José Robalinho Cavalcanti, was quoted on the Association of Prosecutors’s website saying, “We selected exceptional works that deserve not only applause of the prosecution, but the entire Brazilian society,” he said. For him, the initiatives are worthy of recognition and should be replicated across the country.

Pública, an award-winning women-led organization, was founded in March 2011 by a team of women reporters in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is the first center for investigative journalism in Brazil and produces high quality, non-partisan investigative journalism in order to strengthen Brazilian democracy. Pública’s mission is to impact the Brazilian media by promoting its core values: journalism without ideological interference, focus on the public interest, defense of transparency and ethics by the public administration, promotion of the democratic debate about relevant issues, and the relentless defense of human rights.

Read other reporting by Agência Pública featured on Mongabay’s conservation news site here.