The Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability received three awards from the Los Angeles Press Club at a ceremony celebrating achievements by regional media outlets for 2020.

LENS received a activism journalism award for “The Youth Climate Movement Around the World,” an episode of the series “Earth Focus.” It also was honored for environmental reporting and for solutions journalism for the feature-length documentary “The New West and the Politics of the Environment.” LENS co-produced both programs in partnership with Earth Focus and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The Youth Climate Movement Around the World” focuses on the 2019 lawsuit filed by Greta Thunberg and 15 other children from around the world that urged the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to hold five of the world’s leading economic powers accountable for inaction on the climate crisis. 

“The New West and the Politics of the Environment” tells the story of Harry Reid, the longtime Nevada senator and former Senate majority leader. After realizing the possibility of a new west emerging in Nevada, Reid rode that change to power and used his standing to settle water wars with respect for Native Americans, protecting endangered species and wilderness and ushering in the transition to renewable energy.

Both programs aired on KCET-TV. The awards were presented at the Southern California Journalism Awards in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 16.

LENS is an incubator for new research and collaboration on storytelling, communications and media in the service of environmental conservation and equity. It brings together faculty and students from across multiple academic disciplines.