Knight Center grad awarded environmental fellowship

Carol Thompson

Knight Center graduate Carol Thompson is among 13 journalists named to the inaugural class of the National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowships.

Thompson, who graduated from the Michigan State University School of Journalism in 2012, developed her interest in environment reporting while reporting for the Knight Center’s Great Lakes Echo environmental news service.

“I still read it,” said Thompson, now a reporter at the Lansing (Michigan) State Journal.

Journalists selected for the award participate in workshops, a reporting bootcamp at the University of Missouri, multi-day field trips and webinars. They will attend national professional conferences for journalists reporting on health care, environment and science.

“We received over 150 applications, and the process of narrowing down such a diverse and talented applicant pool was incredibly difficult,” said Andrew Smiley, the executive director of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Other organizational sponsors include the Society of Environmental Journalists and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

After graduating from MSU, Thompson worked at a weekly newspaper in northern Wisconsin before going on to the Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle, The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania and now the Lansing State Journal.

“I have been assigned lots of beats but always keep my eye on stories about science and the environment,” she said.

Those stories are as diverse as dam removal, road salt pollution of rivers and a backyard bird watcher whose daily journals show the impact of climate change.

“It’s a weird one, but my favorite story is this one about gulls,” Thompson said.

“I am thrilled to be part of the National Science-Health-Environment Reporting Fellowship’s inaugural class and look forward to learning how to deliver better stories about health, science and the environment to our Michigan readers,” she said. “Clearly, these are important topics that deserve deep, nuanced and accurate coverage from local journalists.

“I can’t wait to get started.”

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