Yale Environment 360, an online magazine published through the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, has been named a 2019 finalist for Best Science Website by The Webby Awards. The Webby Awards are the leading international awards honoring excellence on the internet, according to the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
“We’re very, very thrilled with being recognized by the Webbys. It’s a large international award and it honors us not just for our journalism, but for the way the site conveys itself to readers,” said Roger Cohn, the executive editor of Yale Environment 360, or E360 for short. The publication has won a few Webbys in the past and was awarded the National Magazine Award in 2011.
The online publication was founded in 2008 at F&ES with the goal of producing in-depth, scientifically sound and thoroughly fact-checked stories, according to Cohn. The magazine focuses on global environmental issues and boasts a staff of leading journalists, scientists, environmentalists and policymakers. Contributors include Elizabeth Kolbert, a staff writer at The New Yorker, and Paul J. Crutzen, a Nobel Prize–winning chemist, to name a few.
The online magazine publishes two feature articles per week and releases “E360 Digest” every weekday, which typically summarizes an environmental study and is written by an editor in-house. Cohn, who has been the executive editor of the publication since its launch, said that he recruited many of the first journalists and reporters through connections he already had in the field. Prior to working on Yale E360, Cohn served as the editor in chief of magazine Mother Jones, the executive editor of Audubon and a staff reporter on the environmental beat at The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Since its inception, a number of the publication’s articles have gone viral, including a five-part series called “Crisis on the Colorado,” which was published through the months of January and February this year, Cohn said. The series, which was written by Jim Robbins, addresses the growing water demands on the Colorado river — a consequence of both growing population and increasing agriculture demands — and how they are being exacerbated by climate change.
“The series was very timely in that it came just as a discussion was going on among the states to develop drought contingency plans, which were a discussion that had been going on for years,” said Cohn. “We contributed to furthering the discussion on it, and the drought contingency plan was finally agreed to by the states last month, which was only a month after our series finished running.”
The Yale E360 site now has approximately 6 million visitors each year, 113,300 Twitter followers and 74,000 likes on its Facebook page, according to Katherine Bagley, the managing editor of Yale E360.
According to Cohn, articles from Yale E360 are shared through a number of other websites, such as The Climate Desk — a journalistic collaboration between several publications, including The Atlantic, The Guardian, Newsweek and Slate.
The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which presents the Webbys, comprises a network of more than 2,000 members, ranging from former Senior Technology Correspondent at CNN Laurie Segall to actor and activist Jesse Williams, according to the academy’s website.
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