The Japan Times was among a select band of U.S. and international media outlets announced Friday as the winners of the 22nd Genesis Awards at a star-studded ceremony in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Presented by the Humane Society of the United States, the largest U.S. animal protection organization, the annual Genesis Awards is the only event of its kind that recognizes the major news and entertainment media for showcasing animal issues.
Boyd Harnell, contributing writer, and editor Andrew Kershaw of The Japan Times won the Brigitte Bardot international print award for a series of articles highlighting the notorious dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture.
It was the second Genesis Award for Harnell and Kershaw’s coverage of the annual hunts.
Nominated in the Bardot international print category along with U.K. newspapers, The Sunday Times and The Independent, Harnell’s work won the approval of the Genesis Awards committee for “continuing to pressure the Japanese fishing industry by spotlighting both the cruelty of the dolphin drive hunts and the attendant human health risks of eating dolphin meat.”
“The Japan Times has been the lone media voice reporting on this annual atrocity in Japan,” said Beverly Kaskey, senior director of the Hollywood office of the Humane Society of the United States and executive producer of the Genesis Awards.
“Boyd and Andrew’s contribution to raising awareness of this controversial issue in the international arena is considerable.”
In fact, the topic is associated with another of this year’s major Genesis honors — The Wyler Award, which went to rising young American actress, Hayden Panettiere, for using her celebrity status to draw U.S. media attention to the slaughter.
This special accolade is named after the late Genesis Awards founder and former Broadway headliner, Gretchen Wyler, and is given to a celebrity or public figure who has made news on behalf of animals.
The 22nd Genesis Awards were given in 17 news and entertainment categories, including feature film, feature documentary, TV drama, comedy, broadcast newsmagazine, news feature, documentary, morning show and print. The awards were presented by a host of celebrities, including James Cromwell, Bill Maher, Emily Deschanel, Kyle McLachlin and Wendie Malick.
The Genesis Awards annually recognizes the major news and entertainment media for highlighting emerging issues or for bringing a fresh perspective to long-standing ones. The awards advocate for change and a desire to make a difference on behalf of animals.
The following were winners in the written word category:
Periodical — Gourmet Magazine: “A View to a Kill,” by Daniel Zwerdling, and “The Occasional Vegetarian Letter,” from editor Ruth Reichl.
Newspaper magazine — feature: Chicago Tribune Magazine: “Is Animal Liberation Going Soft?” by Mick Dumke.
Series of newspaper articles — Tulsa World: “puppy mill investigation,” by Omer Gillham.
Columnist — Stu Bykofsky/Philadelphia Daily News: “I am an elephant”/”It’s time to ban foie gras”/”Thanksgiving turkeys.”
Brigitte Bardot international print — The Japan Times: three-part series on dolphin slaughter/human health hazards by Boyd Harnell and Andrew Kershaw.
The Humane Society of the United States is backed by some 10.5 million Americans.
For over 50 years, it has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs.