Award Winners

2022

Video: Spot News/Feature Reporting

Gold

Deep Look: Honeypot Ants Turn Their Biggest Sisters into Jugs of Nectar

KQED and PBS Digital Studios -- April 5, 2022

Deep Look: Barnacles Go To Unbelievable Lengths To Hook Up

KQED and PBS Digital Studios -- April 26, 2022

Deep Look: Don't Go Chasing Water Bugs

KQED and PBS Digital Studios -- June 28, 2022

The long-running Deep Look series, created by KQED San Francisco and distributed by PBS Digital Studios, takes viewers into the world of the very small, where organisms like honeypot ants, acorn barnacles and giant water bugs thrive and reproduce. The filmmakers explore unusual creatures doing unusual things at the edge of the visible world, like the honeypot ants who turn their biggest sisters into engorged jugs of nectar to help feed the ant colony. Or the male water bugs whose fatherhood chores include carrying fertilized eggs on their backs, bringing them to the water’s surface...Read more

Silver

The bizarre COVID side effect no one Is talking about

A subset of COVID-19 survivors suffers from an unexpected side effect known as parosmia, a condition that causes the sense of smell to go haywire. Coffee smells like sewage and chicken smells like rotting garbage. Yara Elmjouie and his colleagues set out to learn how COVID-19 is doing this to people, and what life is like when you smell and taste all the wrong things with no end in sight. “Through fascinating case studies, we learn not only how devastating COVID-19 symptoms have been for certain people, but also learn to appreciate the one sense we often take for granted—taste,” said judge...Read more

2021

Video: Spot News/Feature Reporting

Gold

"How Bison Are Saving America's Lost Prairie" Jan. 14, 2021

PBS

"Inside the Fight to Save an Ancient Forest (and the Secrets It Holds)" July 1, 2021

PBS

In their PBS Terra videos, Michael Werner, Joe Hanson, Rachel Raney and Brandon Arolfo explore the ongoing attempts to save two threatened ecosystems―the American prairie and the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest. “How Bison Are Saving America’s Lost Prairie” focuses on the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northeastern Oklahoma, a 40,000-acre expanse where scientists from The Nature Conservancy are using bison to restore the area’s ecosystem after years of destructive overgrazing by cattle. The herd of more than 2,000 bison now helps foster the ecosystem’s rich...Read more

Silver

"Mexico's COVID Cases and Deaths are Underreported—Why?" April 2, 2021

NOVA/GBH for PBS

During the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, NOVA producer Arlo Pérez Esquivel left his home in Boston and traveled to stay with family in his hometown of Uruapan, Mexico. At the time, Boston and its surrounding county were reporting tens of thousands of COVID-19 cases among its population of 800,000 people. Meanwhile Uruapan and the surrounding region, collectively home to about 700,000 people, reported only a fraction of that number. When he arrived in Uruapan, Pérez noticed that reported cases weren’t accurately representing the number of sick and dying people around him. In a...Read more

2020

Video: Spot News/Feature Reporting

Gold

"A Beautiful New Blue Makes Its Debut" April 28, 2020

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Public Broadcasting’s engaging segment told how Mas Subramanian and his team at Oregon State University discovered a new shade of blue. Director Jes Burns, with editor Dan Evans and videographers Brandon Swanson and Stephani Gordon, recounted the history of YInMn Blue’s discovery and development. The new color was first created when a graduate student on Subramanian’s team heated manganese oxide for an unrelated experiment. The surprising result was a vibrant new shade of blue that is extremely stable and uniquely suited for commercial use. “I was blown away by the new blue,”...Read more

Silver

“How Covid-19 can be more and less deadly than we knew” June 4, 2020

Vox

Joss Fong, Áron Filkey and Joey Sendaydiego of Vox took a close look at COVID-19 case fatality rates, weaving a narrative that included emotional human stories and underlying pandemic statistics. The video used white- and blue-colored lights as a visual representation of fatality statistics, digging into how excess deaths are calculated, and distinguishing the important difference between the case fatality rate and the fatality rate for all who may be infected, whether diagnosed or not. Larry Engel, associate professor at American University’s School of Communication, said that the video “...Read more

2019

Video: Spot News/Feature Reporting

Gold

“Dying soil: An invisible crisis at our feet” April 27, 2019

France 24

Mairead Dundas and Marina Bertsch tackled the disappearance of top soil in their award-winning France 24 video. Through interviews with soil scientists, local farmers and specialists for food producer Nestle, they described the impact of industrial farming on soils in one region of France as an example of a much larger global trend. “One third of the world’s top soil has already been degraded,” Dundas explained, and that could have detrimental impacts on food production, erosion control and carbon sequestration. The answer? Some farmers suggest an alternative farming practice called...Read more

Silver

“Greenland – OMG Expedition” Oct. 3, 2018

VICE News Tonight

In a striking VICE News Tonight segment, the VICE team traveled to Knud Rasmussen Glacier in eastern Greenland to investigate the mechanisms behind glacial melt and sea level rise. They met up with NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland expedition — OMG for short — to learn how ocean water has a major impact on Greenland’s disappearing glacial ice. Scientists on the expedition are finding that warming ocean currents, hundreds of meters beneath the ocean surface, are by far “the biggest and most overlooked source of glacial melt.” The segment focused on the scientific process and emphasized the...Read more

2018

Video: Spot News/Feature Reporting

Gold

“Designer DNA, explained” May 23, 2018

Vox.com for Netflix

As part of a new series by Vox.com for Netflix, Joss Fong and her colleagues explored not only the science but also the ethical implications of the much-discussed CRISPR technique for snipping and editing DNA. Scientists have focused on the potential the tool has for helping to treat or cure human disease. But it also could be used to do germline editing involving sperm, eggs or embryos, allowing changes that would be passed on to future generations. Such changes could ultimately affect human evolution. There also is an important debate on whether DNA editing will go beyond medical therapy...Read more

Silver

“How trees secretly talk to each other” June 28, 2018

BBC World Service

Jennifer Green opened her short, animated video on trees with a simple message: “Trees may look like solitary individuals. But the ground beneath our feet tells a different story. Trees are secretly talking, trading and waging war on one another.” In just under two minutes, Green and animator Jules Bartl described the fungal network through which trees communicate, a system that has been nicknamed the “Wood Wide Web.” If attacked by pests, trees can release chemical signals through their roots that can warn neighboring trees to raise their defenses. The judges praised the visual appeal of...Read more