Thomas L. Stokes Award for Best Energy and Environment Writing

Thomas Content, Lee Bergquist, Joel Dresang 2007

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is the winner of the 2007 Thomas L. Stokes Award for Energy Writing. Reporters Thomas Content, Lee Bergquist and Joel Dresang will share a $1,000 check and receive individual citations for the yearlong project.

Honorable mention was awarded to Ken Ward, Jr. of The Charleston Gazette.

The comprehensive package by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looked at global warming through a regional lens, painting a vivid picture of the area’s increasing dependence on coal, documenting the state’s missed chances to change its energy direction and detailing the real and potential local impact of global warming. Judges found the pieces well thought-out, clearly written and very accessible. The entry was complemented by excellent explanatory graphics and photography, online elements and a special section to help readers reduce their own carbon footprint.

In Charleston, Ken Ward pounded away at the serious issue of mine safety in classic beat reporting style, combing documents and hounding public officials for answers. His reporting uncovers a pattern of regulatory failure with the clear potential for safety consequences. It caught the attention of lawmakers, and so far has forced the Department of Labor to develop a plan to catch up on critical mine inspections. Judges commended the paper and the reporter for intelligent, dogged and courageous pursuit of an important story on behalf of the public good.

The Stokes Award is given annually for the best writing “in the independent spirit of Tom Stokes” on subjects of interest to him, including energy and natural resources.

The winners’ work can be seen here:

Other Winners of this Award


NPF Award Winner: Daniel Glick and Jason Plautz

Daniel Glick and Jason Plautz

High Country News


NPF Award Winner: Brett Chase and Madison Hopkins

Brett Chase and Madison Hopkins

Better Government Association


Lisa Song, David Hasemyer, Jim Morris, Greg Gilderman

InsideClimate News, Center for Public Integrity, The Weather Channel



An eight-person team collaborated on the winning entry


Jim Morris, Chris Hamby and Kimberly Leonard

Center for Public Integrity


Tony Bartelme

The Post and Courier


Thomas Content, Lee Bergquist, Joel Dresang

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Robert Collier

The San Francisco Chronicle


The Plain Dealer Staff

Cleveland Plain Dealer


Sudeep Reddy and Pete Slover

The Dallas Morning News


James Bruggers

The Courier Journal


Ralph Haurwitz and Jeff Nesmith

Austin American-Statesman and Cox Newspapers


Peter Eisler

USA Today