Category Archives: Eric Freedman

Eric Freedman is the director of Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism

EJ students looking at relationships among environment, culture and traditions in Great Lakes region

 

By Eric Freedman

Coverage of the environment in the Great Lakes region involves a lot of reporting on nasty stuff—hazardous waste, invasive species, climate change, air pollution and so on. It involves reporting on good stuff—forests, wildlife, waterways, public lands, outdoor recreation, eco-tourism and the like. It involves covering science and social science studies, legislation, public policy and litigation.

At the Knight Center, we’ve also been pushing our students to report more on the relationships among environment, culture and traditions in the Great Lakes region.

Readers of Great Lakes Echo, our award-winning environmental news service, have always responded well to our stories about shipwrecks and lighthouses, both of them environmental icons of the Great Lakes.

But we’ve also been pushing environmental journalism students – those in our classes and those we hire to work at the Knight Center – to pay more attention to other cultural aspects of the region – the humanities and arts of the region. Continue reading

Environmental issues ahead for Southeast Michigan

Eric Freedman

Regardless of which presidential candidate takes the oath of office next Jan. 20 and regardless of which party controls Congress for the next two years, the federal government has serious environmental issues to address in Southeast Michigan.

To examine some of those issues for Crain’s Detroit Business, Knight Center director Eric Freedman interviewed the Canadian Consul General in Detroit, the presidents of the Michigan Manufacturers Association and Michigan Environmental Council, the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.

Here’s his story.

Capturing hard times – in only 6 words

By Eric Freedman

The COVID-19 pandemic is all around us, saturating news reports, dominating conversations, shuttering businesses, isolating hundreds of millions, disrupting schools, derailing sports and the arts, befuddling science.

Meanwhile, pummeling us are natural disasters as diverse as wildfires in Australia and the American West, hurricanes and tropical storms in the Caribbean and Southeast U.S., typhoons in Japan and the Koreas, landslides in Nepal and India.

Continue reading

Knight Center director trains Uzbek journalists

Knight Center director Eric Freedman led a recent workshop via Zoom for about 20 Uzbek journalists on how American media cover business and economic news in the U.S., including reporting on economic aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As contrasting examples, Freedman used a recent Lansing (Michigan) State Journal article titled “Lansing area gym opens despite state order; others struggle to stay afloat” and a recent New York Times article called “Corporate Insiders Pocket $1 Billion in Rush for Coronavirus Vaccine.”

Journalists at a workshop on business reporting in Uzbekistan

The workshop, part of a three-day training on business reporting, took place in Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, under the sponsorship of the Voice of America’s Uzbek Service.

Trainers and experts from the United States and Europe engaged the participants in online sessions focused on information-gathering, news analysis, interviewing techniques, ethics and best practices, and digital media/infographics. Insightful discussions ensued on how journalists should pitch stories, brainstorm in their newsrooms and correct their content after it airs and/or is published.

Freedman taught journalism as a Fulbright Scholar in Uzbekistan in 2002.

Navbahor Imamova of Voice America Uzbek Service

VOA anchor Navbahor Imamova, who is based in Washington, moderated the session. She has been a guest speaker to Freedman’s international journalism classes, talking about how foreign correspondents work in the U.S.