Indonesia for Sale series honored with Society of Environmental Journalists award

The Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) has given the second feature in the Indonesia for Sale series, “Ghosts in the Machine,” recognition under the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting as part of its annual awards for environmental journalism. Produced in partnership with The Gecko Project, the series has 3 main features so far plus a number of other assets including video and interviews.

The SEJ judges wrote this about the story:

“A remarkable example of brave, tenacious journalism, methodically unravelling systemic corruption in Indonesia extending to the highest levels of the judiciary. Few consumers in North America can fully appreciate the human and environmental toll exacted by the palm oil industry. In that sense, this story should make us all think more critically about the true cost of our actions, at home and around the world.”

Read the winning story here, and here is a quick video description of it:


Find part 1 of Indonesia for Sale, about a politician who turned his district into a sea of oil palm for personal benefit here, and part 3, which dived into the secret dealings that stand to destroy another massive tract of rainforest, here.

Banner image of an orangutan in Indonesian rainforest by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay.