Great Salt Lake Collaborative wins journalism partnership award

Sep 11, 2023, 5:30 AM

Members of the Great Salt Lake Collaborative work on an assignment in California in 2022. The team ...

Members of the Great Salt Lake Collaborative work on an assignment in California in 2022. The team consisted of The Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, FOX-13 and KSL-TV. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

This article is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that partners news, education and media organizations to help inform people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake.

On Aug. 17, at the Online Journalism Awards, the Great Salt Lake Collaborative (GSL) took home the first place prize in the category of Excellence in Collaboration and Partnership. Story Killers, H2A Visa Worker Exploitation, and Railroaded stood as accompanying finalists.

Consisting of 21 news, education and media partners from across the state, the GSL was established in January 2022 with the purpose of tackling the crisis at the Great Salt Lake through the lens of solutions journalism. The collaborative brings together a network of public and nonprofit media partners such as Salt Lake Community College, Amplify Utah, The Salt Lake Tribune, Utah Public Radio, KSL, KCPW, KRCL, KUER and more.


Heather May, project manager at the GSL, said the award demonstrates the positive outcomes that arise when communities and journalists join forces.

“It shows we are a model for how other communities can come together to tackle environmental issues,” she said. “I hope it shows our community why they should support local journalism.”

FOX 13 reporter Ben Winslow, a regular contributor to the collaborative, pointed out that the shrinking Great Salt Lake presents a number of existential problems for the entire state. The work of the GSL is thus important in helping inform the average person, he said.

“I hope the collaborative’s work has made Utahns more aware of the lake and its role in our daily lives and what we can all do, no matter how small, to help,” he added.

This spring, Winslow took part in a project called “Solutions from Israel,” in which Utah leaders traveled to Tel Aviv to learn about how the Middle Eastern country manages its water in one of the driest climates in the world. Winslow said there’s a lot Utah can learn from Israel, but he noted that some things don’t translate exactly.

“The average Israeli household uses less water than the average Utah household,” Winslow explained. “Israel has a nationalized water system (as opposed to Utah’s use of water rights and districts), and desalination is a big part of their success.”

“The Great Salt Lake has the opposite problem [as we need water in the lake],” Winslow continued, “but water conservation is very much a part of Israeli culture.”

Since the collaborative’s inception, May said Utah lawmakers have done more than ever before when it comes to taking steps to help preserve the lake.

“Based on the feedback we’ve heard from lake advocates and state officials, the collaborative has ensured that saving the Great Salt Lake is a priority for the public and policymakers,” she said. “Because we are relentless on one topic, we’ve been invaluable in educating the public [and some policymakers] about what is at stake and what can be done.”

To keep up with the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, visit greatsaltlakenews.org.

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah Drought

great salt lake is pictured, a new trust and commissioner for it are on the horizon...

Peter Johnston

Resolution asks municipalities to boost water conservation efforts

A new resolution aims to promote conservation efforts in cities and counties to reduce the impact on farmers.

8 days ago

Brine shrimp...

Amie Schaeffer

Brine shrimp cyst collection at Great Salt Lake up over 50%. Is the berm to thank?

About 29 million pounds of brine shrimp cysts were harvested at the lake this past season, a huge increase from the year before.

12 days ago

Kelby Johnson stands next to a sand filtration system for drip irrigation on his 100-acre farm in B...

Carter Williams, KSL.COM

Utah passes agriculture water optimization measure, weighs another change

A Utah bill tied to agriculture water optimization was passed Wednesday another advanced through a committee.

13 days ago

FILE: Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, presides over the Senate at the Capitol in Salt Lake...

Adam Small

Utah lawmakers advance bill that seeks water sources outside state lines

The bill would create a Water District Water Development Council, which would be charged with looking for new Utah water sources.

15 days ago

Salton Sea dust storm...

Saige Miller, KUER

Lakebed dust is a worry in Utah. For California’s Salton Sea, it’s a full-blown problem

Lakebed dust from the Salton Sea is so bad, residents of Coachella Valley say many of them have asthma or allergies.

16 days ago

Algal bloom dangers...


Dust from Great Salt Lake helps algal blooms thrive, study finds

A new study from the University of Utah shows dust from the lake bed of Great Salt Lake contributes to unhealthy algal blooms.

21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Great Salt Lake Collaborative wins journalism partnership award