Ahead of Earth Day, Walton Family Foundation Renews Support to The Associated Press for Environmental Reporting
Washington, D.C. - As the world marks Earth Day, the Walton Family Foundation is increasing its commitment to environmental journalism with a $2.5 million grant to The Associated Press. This three-year grant builds on previous support establishing an Environment and Water beat with three dedicated reporting positions. The new grant will continue to fund two text reporters and a video journalist dedicated to water and environmental coverage, while also adding a Spanish-language reporter and photographer. AP retains complete editorial control.
The foundation also supports environmental journalism through the Society of Environmental Journalists, Planet Forward, Report for America, the University of Missouri, NPR, the Good Energy Project and other journalism, nonprofit and academic organizations that provide information on the causes and solutions for climate change.
“Communities need access to high-quality, fact-based journalism on the environment and water in order to address the challenges of climate change,” said Moira Mcdonald, Environment Program Director of the Walton Family Foundation. “Climate change is crystal clear through the lens of water. Droughts, floods, storm events and warming oceans impact communities across the country. The people who are closest to the problem are also closest to the solutions. That’s why communities need consistent, high-quality reporting on these issues to create a more sustainable, resilient future.”
“This grant has enabled the AP to increase coverage in video, text and photos of water issues across the United States,” said AP Global Climate and Environmental News Director Peter Prengaman. “Climate change is one of the most critical issues of our time. Our continued work with the Walton Family Foundation brings essential environmental journalism to the forefront.”
“It’s no secret newsrooms nationwide have been struggling to cover the complex environmental challenges we face. At the same time, it is clear audiences want to know how climate and environmental changes affect the places they live, the water they drink and the food they eat,” said Meaghan Parker, Executive Director of the Society of Environmental Journalists. “Foundations are stepping up to meet this demand by supporting a new, more diverse generation of environmental journalists and increasing the capacity of news outlets to share the stories of people living on the frontlines of climate change.”
A recent poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Walton Family Foundation shows that:
- A majority of voters (60%) agree that journalists have a duty to increase the global understanding of climate change and its impact across the world.
- Three-in-five (61%) voters say it is important for local news to cover the issue of climate change. This includes one-in-three (34%) who said it is very important.
- Seven-in-ten (70% ) voters find news stories on severe weather events compelling - the most compelling story of the options tested.
Read the full report here.
About the Walton Family Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family-led foundation. Three generations of the descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. To learn more, visit www.waltonfamilyfoundation.org.
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. More than half the world’s population sees AP journalism every day. Online: www.ap.org