Salton Sea podcast wins 3rd place from Society of Environmental Journalists

September 22, 2022 · 

The Society of Environmental Journalists awards Senior Program Coordinator Olivia and youth leaders Rosa and Adriana THIRD PLACE for their Salton Sea podcast. The Society is well established, and gives awards to some of the biggest names in journalism. Here’s what they said: 

Living Downstream: The Sea Next Door by Molly Peterson, Rosa Gonzalez-Andrade, Adriana Torres, Olivia Rodriguez Mendez and Steve Mencher for KRCB-FM, part of Northern California Public Media in Rohnert Park, California.

Team roles

  • Molly Peterson, Coordinating Producer
  • Rosa Gonzalez-Andrade, Reporter/Host
  • Adriana Torres, Reporter/Host
  • Olivia Rodriguez Mendez, Producer
  • Steve Mencher, Story Editor

Judges’ comments¬†

“The Living Downstream podcast took the unique approach of telling the story of California’s largest lake from the perspective of a Spanish-speaking community that often feels it is being erased in the telling of the complex narratives that shape the reality of the Salton Sea.
“Student and field reporters Adriana Torres and Rosa Gonzalez worked closely with experienced storytellers Olivia Rodriguez Mendez,¬†Molly¬†Peterson and Steve Mencher to give life to a story that is human and compelling.
“The team used the power of first-person storytelling and all the tools of the podcast medium to unravel the complex elements that in turn weave together the troubled ecology of a desert lake in a near constant state of flux.
“The public health impacts are potentially devastating, the state inaction perhaps too late and the podcast offers a perspective rarely drawn, one where the lake is a neighbor in need of care.
“It is a Herculean effort that wrestles with a subject as large as the lake itself. Bravo.”