Nov. 04, 2022
Best of the Week — First Winner
At the edge of the world, AP reports on resilient, defiant Alaska Native islanders facing climate change
More than 600 Inupiat Natives live in the village of Shishmaref, just a few miles from the Arctic Circle, watching climate change slowly shrink their small Alaskan island home. In early October, reporter Luis Andres Henao, video journalist Jessie Wardarski and photographer Jae Hong visited the village to document how the warming world inexorably threatens their way of life.
With advance outreach, and tactful overtures after their arrival, the journalists earned the trust of residents and civic leaders who have sometimes been wary of visitors. The ultimate result: a moving tribute to the villagers’ resilience and community spirit, rendered in striking visuals and poignant, insightful text.
The package — the first major look at how Shishmaref is determined to stay put as long as possible — earned prominent online display by major news outlets in the U.S. and abroad, including Spanish and French translations.
For an all-formats project vividly evoking the tenacity of a Native village threatened by climate change, the team of Henao, Wardarski and Hong is AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner.