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Pulitzer Center Update May 6, 2014

"Defending the Koshi" Wins Illinois Best of Multimedia Awards


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While Nepal’s hydropower potential is great, economic, health and environmental impacts from dams...

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Multiple Authors
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Defending the Koshi: A Documentary by Jennifer Gonzalez and Steve Matzker.

Campus Consortium student fellows Steven Matzker and Jennifer Gonzalez won first prize in the 2013 Best of Multimedia-Group competition from the Illinois Press Photographers Association for their film, "Defending the Koshi." They also took second prize in the IPPA's 2013 Best of Student Multimedia-Group category. In an online comment announcing the awards, the IPPA praised the documentary calling it "visually rich, with a clear story line and empathetic characters. ... The team did an excellent job of showing both the beauty of the river valley and the need of the city dwellers."

"Defending the Koshi" came out of the team's student fellowship reporting project "Nepal: Water Rights on the Koshi River." In the documentary, Matzker and Gonzalez explore the story of water rights issues and those who are affected by them by focusing on the economic and environmental impacts on the Nepalese people in the Koshi River Basin, the site of a proposed dam, and on the struggle between nationwide development and a traditional way of life.

Matzker and Gonzalez were the 2013 student fellows from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, one of the first Campus Consortium partners with the Pulitzer Center.

The documentary also has been honored recently by its inclusion in a special State Department-sponsored environmental film festival on Earth Day 2014.


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