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Conservancy's Isla Earth Radio Series Wins First Place at LA Press Club's Journalism Awards

The Catalina Island Conservancy’s entertaining 90-second environmental call-to-action Isla Earth Radio Series won first place in the category of News Bureau at the Los Angeles Press Club’s 50th anniversary of the Southern California Journalism Awards ceremony Saturday night, June 21st.

“We are thrilled and honored to be given this award by the LA Press Club,” said Pat Florez, producer of the Isla Earth Radio Series. “The LA Press Club has a long tradition of recognizing the best in journalism and this award honors the Conservancy’s commitment and work to provide quality science-based news stories on the environment and conservation to a global audience.”

Additional honorees at the LA Press Club dinner included: Ana Garcia, TV anchor for KNBC, was given the Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement; Steve Lopez, LA Times reporter, was honored with the President’s Award for Impact on Media; and Bob Woodruff, veteran correspondent and TV anchor for ABC, who was critically injured while reporting in Iraq in 2006, was given the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism by Judea Pearl, Daniel’s father.

Launched with funding from the Annenberg Foundation’s Blue Planet Initiative, and sponsored in part by Southern California Edison,  the Isla Earth Radio Series has “far exceeded expectations in terms of its reach and growth,” said Florez. Now in its third year of production, more than 150 radio stations broadcast the program to a weekly listening audience of more than 6 million people.

The show’s corresponding IslaEarth.org website streams each episode to remote parts of the world where radios may be few and far between. Besides listening to the show, on-line listeners can access further in-depth information about each topic.  In addition, they can click on beautiful, informative photo essays on such topics as Catalina’s rare animals, plants and insects, courtesy of Carlos de la Rosa, the Conservancy’s Conservation and Education Officer.

Conservancy President and CEO Ann M. Muscat notes “the Conservancy is an innovator in conservation practice, species recovery, and habitat restoration, with all of our practical experience applied on Catalina Island. The Isla Earth Radio Series is one of the ways we share our expertise with the global community,” she said. “Through the show we participate in the global conversation about  many of the planet’s  most pressing environmental issues, and  help people understand the connections between themselves and nature.”

Darla Guenzler, Ph.D., Executive Director of the California Council of Land Trusts said that the Conservancy is setting a new bar for conservation organizations. “As a nonprofit land trust, the Catalina Island Conservancy is breaking new ground by reaching far beyond their Island boundaries to bring positive and well-researched environmental stories that educate and inspire people around the world. It is a remarkable example of nonprofit leadership and investment in the global environment that links everyone's own special local places.”

The LA Press Club awards were judged by press organizations from cities across the country. This year press clubs in Arizona, New Orleans, Houston, Milwaukee, East Bay, Cleveland, Colorado, and Syracuse judged the LA Press Club entries. And, for the first time in the history of the LA Press Club there was a tie for the category of News Bureau. First place awards went to both Los Angeles public radio station KCRW and the Conservancy’s Isla Earth Radio Series.