Knight Center awards fifth round of documentary grants

The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism has awarded two $3,500 documentary grants to MSU faculty-student teams.

The winning projects were chosen from proposals submitted in a campus-wide competition:

  • “The Ground Beneath our Feet” — The film will document how a community of ordinary people, acting extraordinarily, can show that others can take a stand for their communities against big industry polluters. Faculty: Geri Zeldes, School of Journalism and John Valadez, Department of Media & Information. Students: Evan Kutz and Taylor O’Neil, Journalism; and Jon Famurewa and Jason Howard, Media & Information.
  • “We Are Flint” — The film will look at the narratives of Flint residents/families talking about the city, the environment they live in and their lives there. Faculty: Judy Walgren, School of Journalism. Students: Courtney Pasek, Sylvia Jarrus and Nic Antaya, Journalism.

In addition to public dissemination of the projects, the Knight Center will use the documentaries on its website and for presentation in classes, workshops and other center activities.
This is the fourth year of the center’s grant competition.

Canada is on-the-road classroom for MSU environmental journalism students

Knight Center for Environmental Journalism students interview Eugene Bourgeois and Marti McFadzean, leaders of two Kincardine, Ontario, organizations opposing the Deep Geological Repository, a nuclear waste storage facility proposed at the site of Bruce Power. They met in the cabin Bourgeois built from reclaimed timber. Image: David Poulson

By David Poulson

I had tried for weeks to arrange a meeting of my environmental journalism students and First Nations officials during a field reporting trip to Kincardine, Ontario.

I came close. But now things were falling apart. Just before we hit the road last semester, tribal officials phoned to say they decided not to meet with us to talk about a controversial radioactive waste disposal plan on Lake Huron’s Bruce Peninsula. They wanted to assess their community’s reaction to the plan before speaking about it with outsiders.

Our three-day Canadian roadtrip was part of a Knight Center environmental journalism class on transboundary issues. The plan was to directly learn of some of the environmental challenges that the U.S. shares with Canada.  At the same time, the half-dozen students would gather ideas and sources for classroom assignments and for our center’s news service which carries stories relevant to the eight states and two provinces bordering the Great Lakes.

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MSU J-School alum recognized for making global science accessible to the public

Sue Nichols reporting in Nepal.

By Kara Headley

While in Beijing working on a story about the new turfgrass for the 2008 Olympic soccer games, Sue Nichols needed a picture of the entire field. There was no easy way to get it.

“So I slung my camera over my shoulder and climbed up what must have been a four-story pole in 95 degree heat in Beijing,” Nichols said. “It was the only way I could get this picture that I really wanted of the whole field!”

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Knight Center research director publishes study about environmental law in Chile

Knight Center research director Bruno Takahashi has co-authored a paper about the Native Forest Law in Chile. The study, “Of Catholicism Forest and Management: An Analysis of Imaginaries in the Discussion of the Native Forest Law in Chile,” was published in the journal Environmental Communication.

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