Author Archives: Barb Miller

DEADLINE LOOMS! Join the MSU J-School’s Environmental Solutions SWAT team and save the world


Get paid to tell the world’s most important stories on creative news platforms.

MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism is hiring an MSU student team to report on climate change, food systems innovation, social injustice, alternative energy, endangered wildlife, toxic air and myriads of issues that transcend every beat.

You don’t even have to like the environment – just be passionate about reporting solutions and pioneering journalism. You’ll come to love the world’s most important beat.

We’re one of eight student newsrooms in the nation that the Solutions Journalism Network chose this year to fund and train in a new way of framing stories. We have additional support to turn research by the Cooperative Institute of Great Lakes Research into environmental news stories that demand to be read.

We’re hiring writers, podcasters, TikTok producers, solution seekers, videographers and others.

Your stories will appear on the award-winning Great Lakes Echo news service, The Food Fix podcast and on Knight Center affiliated social media – including our new TikTok channel.

Reporters work regularly scheduled six to 10 hours a week. You’ll build your resume, sharpen skills and help save the world. (And did we mention we’ll pay you?)

Want in? Email Echo Editor David Poulson,, a resume, about 100 words on why you’re right for this job, example(s) of or links to your work and at least one reference with contact information. Work examples can be published or coursework.

Helpful – so mention if you have it – but not required:
• Interest in the environment
• Experience in producing any form of journalism

• Willingness to work hard and learn
• Reliability

Application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.

Study released on predatory “scholarly” journals in journalism and mass communication research

Eric Freedman

A new article by Knight Center director Eric Freedman and Professor Bahtiyar Kurambayev of KIMEP University in Kazakhstan explores how predatory journals use deceptive and unethical tactics to recruit scholars as ostensible editorial board members and manuscript reviewers. Two such journals listed scholars without their consent or knowledge. Others asked unsuccessfully to be removed from the journals’ posted list of board members and reviewers.

Predatory journals mislead authors with promises of meaningful peer review and editorial control when, in reality, the publishers charge high “article processing fees” and articles appear with little or no editing.

Prof. Bahtiyar Kurambayev

Freedman and Kurambayev used a survey and interviews to examine the practices of Insight-News Media and Journalism and Mass Communication – whose title is deceptively similar to Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, the flagship publication of the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication.

The findings have practical implications for research in journalism and mass communication, especially for academics in developing country with insufficient English-language proficiency and who face publish-or-perish pressures.

The study is the first of its kind to focus on predatory journals in journalism and mass communication and appears in the latest issue of the Journal of Scholarly Publishing.

Tech to the rescue

From electronic “noses” that can detect the scent of native Australian lizards to the DNA of individual trees to acoustic devices that capture the sound of gunshots, new technologies are helping investigators track down and prosecute wildlife traffickers and poachers.

Eric Freedman


But they also raise some troubling ethical questions.

In a new article in the environmental magazine Earth Island Journal, Knight Center director Eric Freedman explores the role of scientific advances in fighting global wildlife crimes, the theft of endangered plants and illegal fishing.

In 2018, a band of poachers who had been illegally loggng in the national forest poured gasoline on a wasp nest near the base of a prime maple, set it afire, and fled when they were unable to put the flames out. The fire grew into a massive blaze that ravaged more than 3,300 acres of public land. Photo by US Forest Service-Pacific Northwest.


The climigrants are coming, the climigrants are coming – maybe. Is the Great Lakes region ready?

Eric Freedman

Knight Center director Eric Freedman is the lead author of a package of stories on the possibility of climate migrants moving to the Great Lakes region to escape forest fires of Western states, flooding along the saltwater coasts and ever-rising temperatures causing drought in different corners of the continent.

His main story for Crain’s Detroit Business, Crain’s Chicago Business and Crain’s Cleveland Business tackles the question of who may make the move and how well-prepared – or ill-prepared – Great Lakes communities are to accommodate them.

His sidebar looks at how changing environmental, social and economic climates have long fueled other migrations to the region, including settlement by European immigrants and their descendants in the 1800s and the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to the factories of Detroit, Youngstown, Akron, Chicago, Gary and Cleveland in the first half of the 20th century.