2011 Television: Spot News/Feature Reporting


A team from KQED, San Francisco, looked at the potential impact of sea level rise on the San Francisco Bay. The QUEST/Climate Watch co-production “used the visual medium of television effectively as it laid out the facts—and uncertainties—surrounding rising sea levels,” said Richard Harris, a science correspondent for NPR who served as a judge.

Along with the rest of the world’s oceans and estuaries, San Francisco Bay is rising. The changes are slow and barely perceptible, but even the most optimistic estimates about how high and how quickly this rise will occur suggest potentially significant problems for the region. “Sea level rise is one of those issues that seems far away for the public,” said Paul Rogers, managing editor for QUEST. “It’s also been clouded by huge amounts of misinformation and political spin. We wanted to show that scientists have documented that it’s already happening, and that it is going to have direct effects on the Bay Area and other coastal communities which will cost billions of dollars in the decades ahead.” Kathy Sawyer, a freelance science writer formerly with The Washington Post, said the entry was “a nicely executed zoom-in from a global perspective to a regional close-up of the encroaching seas.”