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Tides Foundation Honors Chip Giller, Founder and President of Grist Magazine

Award recognizes Giller’s leadership as an environmental journalist publishing “a beacon in the smog”

SEATTLE—Chip Giller, president of Grist Magazine, will accept the prestigious Jane Bagley Lehman Award for Excellence in Public Advocacy this week for his work on Grist, the country’s leading independent source of environmental news. The award highlights the success of Grist (www.grist.org) in strengthening the environmental movement by reaching an audience of millions, particularly readers in Generations X and Y.

Established in 1990, the Jane Bagley Lehman Award is a national honor given by the Tides Foundation to individuals who have exhibited a deep commitment to the public interest, whose work demonstrates unique and innovative approaches to social needs and problems, and who have sought to share their experiences and findings with as wide an audience as possible.

“At Grist, we think that the best journalism inspires activism, and that the best activism is informed by outstanding journalism,” Giller said. “Ecological crises are growing in urgency each day. During this important time, Grist is equipping average citizens, especially people in their 20s and 30s, with the information they need to help protect the environment. I am honored to receive the JBL Award, which recognizes the vital role Grist is playing in increasing environmental awareness.”

Grist publishes environmental news and commentary spiked with a sense of humor and designed to motivate people to act on behalf of the environment. “In recent years, the mainstream media have failed in their obligation to provide thorough, forceful environmental coverage. I founded Grist to fill this gap and inspire readers to act on their beliefs,” Giller said. “Three-quarters of Grist readers report changing their behavior at least once per month in response to an article in the magazine.”

Other environmental leaders tout Giller’s achievements. “Chip has been tremendously successful in changing and reframing the public’s perception of environmental issues,” said Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970 and current president of the Bullitt Foundation. “In Grist, Chip has created one of the few contemporary voices that links core environmental issues to everyday lives.”

In addition to Giller, Grist staff writer Amanda Griscom Little was one of two other 2004 Jane Bagley Lehman Award winners. “Grist has changed the way the environmental community receives and digests information,” said Drummond Pike, founder and president of the Tides Foundation. “Grist is a model for others seeking a sustainable future. Chip and Amanda are leading the way through some of the most creative journalism out there today.”

About Chip Giller
Chip Giller launched Grist in April 1999 to lighten up a movement known for taking itself too seriously. He won first place in the 2001 AlterNet New Media Hero contest and was one of five finalists for the Environmental Grantmakers Association’s 2002 “Environmental Messenger of the Year Award.” The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today have written about Giller’s unique take on environmental news. Giller, 33, is a three-time journalism fellow with the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources and a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program.

About Grist Magazine
The nonprofit, independent, online magazine Grist (www.grist.org) was founded in April 1999 as a project of Earth Day Network (www.earthday.net). Grist struck out on its own and became an independent nonprofit in 2003. Over the past 5 years, Grist has developed the most recognizable voice in environmental journalism: funny, opinionated, and intelligent. Grist offers in-depth reporting, opinions, cartoons, book reviews, advice, and more—all tailored to inform, entertain, provoke and encourage its readers to think creatively about environmental problems and solutions. In January 2004, Grist received Utne’s Independent Press Award for Online Political Coverage.

More than 100,000 people subscribe to Grist‘s free email updates on breaking environmental news and 180,000 different people visit the Grist website each month. Through syndication arrangements with other media outlets like MSNBC.com, Salon.com, and PBS.org, Grist is reaching an even broader audience that extends into the millions. Readers include environmental leaders, policy makers, journalists, educators, students, and other concerned citizens.