Population Institute Honors 34th Annual Global Media Award Winners
January 16, 2014
Last night the Population Institute honored the winners of the 34th annual Global Media Awards competition. The awards were presented to the winners by Population Institute's Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ryerson at a reception at the Population Institute's office in Washington, DC with Alan Weisman, winner of the Global Media Award for Best Book, as the keynote speaker.
The recipients made a significant contribution to public discussion and understanding of population and family planning related issues. The Population Institute is proud to recognize these individuals and news outlets for their journalistic excellence and valuable insights.
Isaac Masingati, a reporter at Malawi’s The Daily Times, received the Best Article or Series of Articles award for “Too Many People, Too Few Resources.” His article examines how rapid population growth is impacting the provision of essential services in Malawi. The government is worried that population growth will undermine its efforts to provide quality health and education services, accelerate the depletion of forests and natural resources, and degrade the environment. It is hoped that the National Population Policy will address these challenges by promoting smaller families and increasing access to family planning, but the article questions whether government leaders will make the necessary commitments.
Alan Weisman, the author of several books, including the international best-seller The World Without Us, received the Best Book award for his book Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? Alan Weisman traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were the probably the most important questions on Earth and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth? Weisman explores the burgeoning impact that we are having on planetary resources, but also examines the ancillary benefits that would flow from stabilizing population and reducing our consumption of natural resources.
East Los High was recognized as the Best TV Show for a highly popular 24-episode made-for-television series that ran exclusively on Hulu. Co-created, co-written and directed by Carlos Portugal, East Los High is the first U.S. produced, English language series with an all Latino cast. The program dramatized the voices and stories of young Latinos living in the U.S. Featuring stories infused with love, jealousy, and revenge, the episodes also highlight the moral, sexual, and reproductive health issues facing Latino teens today. The Population Institute is also giving East Los High an award for the Best Social Media Campaign. The award is being given for an extensive trans-media campaign that accompanied the airing of the drama series. The campaign allowed viewers to learn more about the characters and the issues raised by the program through a website and a variety of social media platforms.
Earthworms with host Jean Ponzi received the award for Best Radio Show. Jean Ponzi, known as “Green Jean”, has been an environmental force around St. Louis for over 25 years, and has produced and hosted the weekly environmental radio talk show, “Earthworms,” on FM-88 KDHX for over 20 years. Jean is a consistent, thoughtful and outspoken voice on population growth and its impact on the environment. Her award winning efforts over the past year included at least five shows that explored the population/environment nexus.
Blessed Fruit of the Womb received the award for Best Film or Miniseries. The documentary, which was produced by Wings, a nonprofit organization providing reproductive health services and information to women in Guatemala, tells the story of two women, Evelyn and Ester. Undeterred by powerful religious organizations, conservative politicians, and a male dominated culture, they travel village-to-village through the Guatemalan countryside in an effort to provide family planning and reproductive health services to Guatemalan women. The film highlights the fight for reproductive rights and freedom in a country with the highest fertility rate in Latin America.
Carmen Barroso of International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere and Michael Brune of the Sierra Club received the award for Best Opinion Piece for “Women at the Center of a Sustainable World.” Their blog, which was published by the Huffington Post on World Population Day, connects the dots between women’s health, environmental sustainability, and population growth. The blog, which highlights the many environmental benefits associated with advances in reproductive health and rights, brings together two important constituencies in support of family planning and gender equality: environmentalists and women’s rights supporters.
Pictures from the event are available here.