Doug Struck wins award for story on carbon offsets fraud

Doug Struck

Carrie Sheffield
June 03, 2010

Emerson Journalist-in-Residence Doug Struck recently won the April Sidney Award for his six-part series in The Christian Science Monitor titled “Blowing Smoke,” which exposed the fraud surrounding the growing market for carbon offsets.

The Sidney Award is given once a month to an outstanding piece of socially conscious journalism by the Sidney Hillman Foundation, which also awards the annual Hillman Prizes every spring.

Struck’s investigation involved more than 22 reporters and editors, including students Katy Jordan, MA '10, and Tom Smith '11. The results appeared in a six-page cover story in the April 26 issue of The Christian Science Monitor weekly magazine, and an online version aired on WGBH Radio.

Sidney Award judge Charles Kaiser said, “Struck provides many striking examples of misrepresentation and fraud, ranging from a phantom forest in Hungary, which was supposed to make the Vatican carbon-neutral but never got planted, to an Israeli charity selling offsets that are supposed to create brand-new projects, but are actually for tree plantings the charity has been doing for 60 years.”

Struck has been a national and a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun. He has also managed news bureaus in the Middle East, Asia, and Canada. He has covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor, the Philippines, and Sudan; and his global-warming reporting has taken him around the globe, with visits to the Arctic, the Northwest Passage, Greenland, the Andes in Peru, and the Boreal Forest. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a fellow in Asian studies at George Washington University.

Read Struck's story and listen to an online version on WGBH.org >>

Learn more about Struck's Sidney Award and the Sidney Hillman Foundation >>