The jury granted the award to Caty Arévalo, environmental correspondent with Agencia Efe for “the quality and rigor of her reporting” in almost 20 years devoted to this branch of journalism. Such labors, it added, are “especially relevant and necessary at a time in history when society is being subjected to messages about complex environmental issues that are inexact and at odds with the scientific evidence.”
Arévalo began her professional career in the late 1990s covering environmental stories in Spain for the news bulletins of radio broadcasters Onda Cero and Cope, as well as for daily newspaper El Mundo, until in 2002 she was recruited by Efe as the agency’s first ever journalist specializing in biodiversity and climate change. Since then, she has covered all major international encounters on environmental matters, including the UN climate change and biodiversity conservation summits, for the more than one thousand media outlets subscribing to the Efe news service. She has also written hundreds of on-the-ground reports analyzing grave environmental problems, like the first Alaskan communities forced from their homes by the impacts of climate change, or the indigenous peoples affected by oil spills in the Amazon, informed always by the best available science.
Aside from her reporting output, Arévalo was among the co-founders of EFEverde, the environmental journalism platform launched by the agency in 2009, and now a key information source for the Spanish-speaking world. Throughout her career, moreover, she has maintained direct contacts with leading experts from the global scientific community at universities like Oxford, Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), giving her first-hand access to some of the most cutting-edge research in the environment field. Hence the jury’s assertion that “she represents a new generation of journalists trained at international centers of excellence,” whose stories draw on the latest knowledge from the relevant field of science.
“Every day I start my professional endeavor convinced that I am writing about the most important issue confronting humanity: the way in which the dominant development model since the industrial revolution is driving us to the brink of collapse, and whether or not we can turn things round in time to ensure our own survival,” declared Arévalo shortly after hearing of the award. For the reporter, winning the award “has enormous value at this time of planetary crisis coinciding with a bleak time for the journalists’ trade, because it extends recognition to a specialist branch that addresses such crucial issues for humanity as climate change, yet which is often sidelined or dispensed with by editorial departments.”