The 2018 Dolly Connelly excellence in environmental journalism award goes to The Daily Chronicle in Lewis County, and to the work of its writer, Jordan Nailon.
“The Chronicle’s meticulous investigation of one of Washington’s largest poaching rings reflects public service journalism at its best,” wrote judge Peter Jackson, former editorial page editor of The Herald in Everett. “It is a sweeping, hard-nosed series, powerful and infuriating. Like a prosecutor, journalist Jordan Nailon knits together a series that is persuasive and gut-wrenching.”
Judge David McCumber, editor of the Montana Standard in Butte, commented: “It wasn’t flashy but it was comprehensive as hell..” He went on to describe Nailon’s work as “resolute, fearless journalism shining light on something people needed to understand thoroughly so public pressure may result in more enforcement resources.”
Joel Connelly, blogger/columnist with SeattlePI.com, observed: “I have always associated poaching with rhinos and elephants in East Africa. I was astounded at the size and sophistication of the ring that operated in Western Washington. This was needed reporting, very well done, but a newspaper whose editorial positions I do not always share.”
The Dolly Connelly Award was established and endowed by Joel Connelly, with help from late Seattle Post-Intelligencer publisher J.D. Alexander, in honor of Connelly’s mother. She was a correspondent with Time-Life, and a freelance writer who was present at the creation of environmental reporting. She ventured as far afield as St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea, rode the Alaska Highway in the dead of winter, and covered for Sports Illustrated the first ascent of Mt. Kennedy in the Yukon by Sen. Robert Kennedy and mountaineer Big Jim Whittaker. She wrote for Sunset on the battle to secure a North Cascades National Park, a park which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.