Franklin Pierce University Awards Fitzwater Medallions for Climate Reporting
Apr 28, 2023
Franklin Pierce University held its annual Fitzwater Center Honors ceremony on Thursday, April 27, bestowing Fitzwater Medallions upon select honorees at an event on the Rindge Campus. Established in 2004, the Fitzwater Honors is the hallmark event of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University.
“Franklin Pierce is honored to recognize this year’s Fitzwater Medallion honorees,” said Kim Mooney ’83, president of Franklin Pierce, “for their dedication to reporting on one the most important issues of our time – climate change.”
The 2023 honorees are:
- Stephen C. Lacey ’06, Co-founder and Executive Editor, Post Script Media, The Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication by an Alumnus;
- Mara Hoplamazian, Reporter, Climate Change, NHPR, The Fitzwater Medallion for Public Service;
- John Bassett, Paul Cuno-Booth, Scott Merrill, and Kathie Ragsdale, Environmental Justice Reporting Team, Granite State News Collaborative, The Fitzwater Medallion for Public Service; and
- Caitlin Agnew ’23, The Fitzwater Medallion for Contributions to the Public Discourse.
Stephen C. Lacey ’06 is a veteran business journalist, editor, and audio producer. He is the executive editor and co-founder of Post Script Media, a media company focused on telling climate stories at the intersection of tech, business, and culture. The host of "The Carbon Copy," a popular narrative-news show, Lacey’s reporting focuses on the business trends shaping the energy transition.
“We are at an inflection point when it comes to covering climate change,” shared Lacey, whose interest in reporting on the issue started as a student at Franklin Pierce. “The people who read about climate change or watch films on climate change don’t have to be that freshman me sitting in the dining hall feeling completely overwhelmed and disconnected to the problem. We’re finding new ways to make the solutions real while holding accountable institutions, companies, and people that are holding them back. I have no choice but to remain optimistic about what we can actually build in this country and what journalism can do.”
Mara Hoplamazian leads NHPR’s climate change reporting project, By Degrees. Their extensive reporting seeks to explain “the science and – and the historical context – of our changing climate and why it’s impacting Granite Staters in unequal ways.” Earlier this month, they convened experts and citizens from across New England to discuss potential paths forward at the By Degrees Climate Summit 2023, supported also by New Hampshire PBS. They joined NHPR in 2021 as a Couch Fellow. Originally from Chicago, Mara earned their undergraduate degree in American Studies from Yale University.
“I’m so honored to accept this Fitzwater Medallion for Public Service alongside such a wonderful reporting team at the Granite State News Collaborative,” said Hoplamazian.” I’m really grateful for this recognition and I’m also really grateful to get to do this work, the work of reporting on climate change in New Hampshire.”
John Bassett, Paul Cuno-Booth, Scott Merrill, and Kathie Ragsdale make up the Environmental Justice Reporting Team at the Granite State News Collaborative (GSNC). GSNC is a collective of more than 20 local media, education and community partners working together to produce and share news stories on the issues that most impact New Hampshire and its communities. Under the leadership of Melanie Plenda, a 2022 Fitzwater Medallion honoree, the Collaborative has won numerous awards and recognition for their focus on inclusive and responsive coverage.
Named for the national press secretary for two U.S. Presidents, the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University was founded in 2002. The Fitzwater Center’s facilities enable Franklin Pierce students to write, film, edit, and produce programming for student-run television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. In addition to supporting the hallmark goal of Franklin Pierce University —preparing students to be confident, knowledgeable citizens and finding their voice in the public discourse — the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication is dedicated to educating leaders of conscience in public communication, from the town hall to the nation’s Capital.
“Franklin Pierce University and the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication have provided me the knowledge to use my skills to showcase others’ work on how to improve the world,” shared Caitlin Agnew ’23, this year’s Fitzwater Medallion for Contributions to the Public Discourse honoree. “I can’t wait to go out and find my next story to share.”
The Fitzwater Honors Ceremony can be viewed here.