The Wits China-Africa Reporting Project would like to congratulate Shi Yi on her winning the 2015 Journalist of the Year Award at the 2016 China Environmental Press Awards. Shi Yi won the award for an exposé on Chinese links in Namibia's poaching crisis: the investigation was supported by the Wits China-Africa Reporting Project. The articles grew out of a three-month environmental journalism fellowship hosted by the Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalism.
Shi Yi's investigation "exposed a booming black market in wildlife products... leading to a crackdown on the market by police" and implicated police officers in the illicit trade. She also profiled some of the Chinese nationals involved in the trade in Namibia.
This type of reporting, according to the judges, helps to "bolster the international fight against poaching and demonstrate China’s increased awareness of her international responsibilities."
Shi Yi also did other exposés for Thepaper.cn which contributed to her winning the coveted award. One was on the degradation of the Kalamely Nature Reserve in Xinjiang, China, which attracted the attention of Communist Party officials, including China's president, Xi Jinping.