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Honoring the news and entertainment media for their outstanding reporting and creative portrayals of animal-protection issues, The HSUS recognizes the best in media coverage for works aired or released in 2015.

  • Senator Cory Booker makes his love for animals animals clear via social media. Photo: Carly Otness/BFAnyc.com

  • Aziz Ansari used his comedy special to shine a light on factory farming. Photo: Hubert Boesl/Alamy

  • Cecil the lion's death sparked an outcry against trophy hunting. Photo: Brent Stapelkamp/500px Prime

  • Protecting elephants from the cruel ivory trade highlighted in media in 2015. Photo: Adam Peyman/HSI

  • The monumental shift towards cage-free eggs by large restaurants and grocery chains was highlighted in 2015. Photo: David Paul Morris

2016 Winners

2015 may well have been the year of the lion, with the story of Cecil's illegal killing capturing worldwide media attention, but just one look at the 30th Genesis Awards winners will remind us of the many other urgent animal protection stories which inspired reporters, TV journalists and producers, documentary filmmakers and a stand-up comedian to spread the word about issues ranging from factory farming to the ivory and wildlife trades to shelter pet adoption, roadside zoos and exotic pets.

Congratulations to all the outstanding 30th Genesis Awards winners. We thank you for shining the spotlight on animal cruelty and exploitation.



The Cove's Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos' dramatic chronicle of the heroic efforts of scientists and activists to save the world's growing number of threatened species.



Nightline—ABC News
Nightline Investigates: Eggs Exposed
Reporter: David Wright
A report on the daring undercover operation that revealed animal cruelty and human health hazards at a Costco egg supplier, prompting the retailer's decision to go cage-free.


13 Eyewitness News Investigates (WTHR Indiana)—2 part series
Crate Controversy: Pig farmers face growing pressure
Reporter: Bob Segall
An in-depth look at the appalling conditions endured by pigs on a factory farm, and how public pressure is leading to more humane practices.


20/20—ABC News
Hunter & Hunted
An in-depth account of the killing of the beloved Cecil the lion, the other illegal hunting activities of his killer Walter Palmer and the worldwide public outcry against Palmer and trophy hunting in general.


Aziz Ansari Live at Madison Square Garden—Netflix
Factory farming rant
Parks and Recreation's Aziz Ansari's blistering takedown of the factory farm industry will make anyone think twice about where their food comes from and how it was raised.


The View—ABC
For Mother's Day, “Rappaport to the Rescue” with Jill Rappaport featured a poignant segment on “mommy” dogs abused and abandoned by breeders and puppy mills, and a celebration of senior dogs and why they make ideal therapy dogs..


Explorer: Warlords of Ivory—National Geographic Channel 
A powerful and disturbing exposé of the role of terrorism in the ivory trade and how a GPS tracking system could mark a turn in the efforts to save elephants.


American Takedown: Dog Fighting—A&E
Follows a law enforcement team and The HSUS on a dogfighting bust, bringing a breeder and trainer of 52 dogs to justice and rescuing the animals who have been chained and abused their entire lives.


The All-Star Dog Rescue Celebration—FOX
A dog adoption extravaganza, hosted by Kaley Cuoco, that manages to both entertain and inform its audience about every issue affecting man's best friend.

Best in Shelter with Jill Rappaport—NBC
An appreciation of shelter underdogs with Rappaport and her celebrity friends helping to find forever homes for a variety of dogs including seniors and special needs dogs that are all too often overlooked for adoption, but make perfect companions.


Sofia the First—Disney Junior
"The Secret Library"
The magical tale of two winged horses—one that yearns to be free and the other that is happy to be a riding horse—which helps children to understand that animals have different needs and can be happy in different settings as long as they are treated humanely.




Blood Lions
Spotlights the lucrative South African business of breeding lions in factory farm-like facilities for “canned hunts,” and the growing Asian market for lion bones.


MNET Carte Blanche
Multiple segments: Wild Animals as Pets, part 1 and part 2 (Producer: Sasha Schwendenwein); Driven Hunt, part 1 and part 2 (Producer: Kate Barry); Canned Lion (Producer: Bernadette Maguire); North West Rare Game Empowerment (Producer: Bernadette Maguire); Faroe Islands Whale Slaughter (Producer: Michael Duffett); Tiger Bones (Producers: Phillip Hattingh and Karl Amman)

Six alarming perspectives on the exploitation of South Africa's wildlife, an exposé of a “tiger sanctuary" in Thailand that breeds animals for traditional Chinese medicine, and whale slaughter in Faroe Islands


Unnatural Enemies: The War on Wolves—CTV Calgary
Sounds the alarm against Alberta, Canada's inhumane wolf management program, which employs cruel poisoning and trapping methods and stands to be exported to other provinces and beyond.


Four Corners—ABC TV Australia
Making a Killing; The Secret Greyhound Export Trade; Cover-ups, Tip-offs, Mismanagement
Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Sam Clark
A hard-hitting three-part exposé of the egregious cruelty that abounds in the greyhound industry, revealing how reject racer dogs are exported to Asia for an even worse fate.



George Knapp—Coast to Coast AM
Animal Welfare: Why We All Have a Personal Stake in this Fight
An exploration of the many ways in which animals are bred and abused for human food consumption—from chicken farms to the Asian dog meat trade.




National Geographic Magazine
"How Killing Elephants Finances Terror in Africa" by Bryan Christy
A companion piece to Nat Geo's documentary which is both a shocking assessment of the decimation of Africa's elephants and a disturbing view of how terrorist groups are dominating the ivory trade.


"What a Bunch of Snakes" by David Fleshler
Offers a rare glimpse into the powerful "reptile lobby," which adopts similar tactics to the gun lobby in proclaiming the rights of its members to breed and own dangerous snakes.


The Washington Post
"Mauling, escapes and abuse: 6 small zoos, 80 sick or dead animals" by Justin Jouvenal
A detailed investigation into several eastern state roadside zoos cited for animal welfare and human safety violations, which are shown to be representative of roadside zoos across the nation.


"It's time for evangelicals to speak up for animals" by Kirsten Powers
Applauds the new official Evangelicals' animal welfare statement, which officially acknowledges that all animals "have value independent of human use."


Senator Cory Booker
In appreciation of the Senator consistently communicating his personal concern for an array of animal issues to his 2 million dedicated followers on social media, via tweets such as this.



Jade Scipioni—FoxBusiness.com
A series of reports focusing on Costco, McDonald's and the unprecedented success of the cage-free egg campaign.
"Costco Sells Record Amount of Cage-free eggs despite feud"; "Graphic Video Shows McDonald's, Tyson Supplier Stabbing Chickens"; "Costco CEO Fires Back Amid Caged Egg Billboard"; "The Caged Egg Debate: Is McDonald's the Next Target?"; "How 2015 Became the year of the cage-free hen"

Deena Shanker
Multiple articles on farm animal protection issues from an analysis of HSUS' approach to negotiating cage-free corporate policies to shedding light on the conspiracy against vegan mayo.
Quartz.com—"McDonald's just committed to 100% cage-free eggs"; "There is literally a US government conspiracy against vegan mayo"; "American farmers have to stop juicing their pigs to meet China's food safety standards"
Fortune.com—"Can LYFE Kitchen out-Chipotle Chipotle?"; "How the Humane Society convinced nearly 100 food companies to take their animals out of cages"

Kate Gibson—CBSnews.com
From a series of stories on Costco, the Safari Club, Walmart and SeaWorld: business reporting that highlights the connection between corporate responsibility and animal welfare.
"Safari Club attacked for incentives to kill rare animals"; "Safety issues raised as Costco won't commit to cage-free eggs"; "Humane Society ups PR ante in battle with Costco"; "Sia calls on Costco to switch to cage-free eggs"; "Why Nikki Reed is taking on Costco"; "Costco says it's making progress on cage-free eggs"; "Denny's crows about eggs from cage-free chickens in video"; "From SeaWorld to Whole Foods, animal advocates shake up big biz"; "Walmart to sell only cage-free eggs by 2025"


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