Category Archives: Students

Journalism and non-journalism students at Michigan State University explore how to better report environmental issues to the public at the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

Environmental journalism courses can help students meet the School of Journalism’s elective requirements. They can also be used as part of an environmental theme to complete the school’s concentration requirement by combining them with environment-related courses outside the journalism program. See your academic adviser or contact the Knight Center.
Non-journalism students interested in environmental issues are encouraged to contact instructors to discuss waiver of pre-requisites. Often a journalism environmental course may meet communication course requirements of other departments.

Undergraduates are also encouraged to join the student Environmental Journalism Association and write for Great Lakes Echo to gain resume-building experience and clips.
Undergraduate students are eligible for several awards and scholarships in environmental journalism.
They are encouraged to augment their study with environment classes and programs elsewhere at MSU such as the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment.

Environmental lessons I learned in Australia

By Cameryn Cass

The first time I left America, I didn’t get very far: I went to Toronto for a mini-holiday. Though only four and a half hours from my hometown, it felt much farther than that. It was exciting and new and – dare I say – foreign. Unlike my 19-year-old peers, I was drawn to the city for something other than legal drinking: I went in search of adventure.

You see, I enjoy living outside my comfort zone. I figure the more I do, the larger that zone will become.

Former Great Lakes Echo writer Cameryn Cass on the scene in Australia

So for my final semester at Michigan State, I decided to pack my bags and live 9,370 miles (15,080 kilometers) from home in Sydney, Australia. Instead of studying abroad, I interned at a lovely nonprofit called the Ethics Centre in the heart of the city.

I had the opportunity to write and edit stories and meet philosophers and experience imposter syndrome daily. I got used to spelling color with a “u” and writing the date with the number first, followed by the month. Did you know writing the date with the number sandwiched between the month and year is almost exclusively American? I think we ought to reconsider how we write that. And also adopt the metric system.

But, back to Australia. My internship went from February to mid-April, but I stayed until July 24 (24 July). I saw Brisbane and sat beside kangaroos all afternoon at Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo. I hiked at Cradle Mountain and easily fell in love with Hobart, Tasmania.

I visited New Zealand and its Hobbiton, having never seen the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings films and left a piece of my heart in Queenstown.

And I got lost in the equatorial heat and traffic lightless roads of Bali, visiting my cousin there for 15 days. Continue reading

Tips to ethically cover Indigenous communities

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of tips gleaned from the most recent annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

By Ashley Zhou

BOISE, Idaho — I have had years of experience reporting on various topics, but the environment is not one of them. I was initially intimidated by the  spring Society of Environmental Journalists’ 32nd annual conference.

However, through networking and attending various panels, I quickly realized that SEJ is a welcoming community. It is filled with journalists of all levels of expertise and background. Veteran reporters from CNN and National Geographic wandered with dozens of rising journalists from local newsrooms, all tirelessly working towards the same passion of environmental journalism.

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Utilities are an underappreciated source of environmental stories

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of tips gleaned from the most recent annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

By Devin Anderson-Torrez

BOISE, Idaho – Utilities are an undercovered beat, yet they represent a source of great stories at the intersection of human, energy and environmental issues.

What they decide – quickly, slowly or not at all – will be a key factor in whether the battle against climate change is a winning one, said Sammy Roth, a reporter at the LA Times, who spoke at the recent annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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Advice from the field: Make your producer cover climate change 

Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of tips gleaned from the most recent annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

By Vladislava Sukhanovskaya

Journalists and meteorologists met at this year’s Society of Environmental Journalists conference to explore how to connect extreme weather and climate change.

Here are some tips and useful resources provided by a panel at the organization’s annual conference in Boise, Idaho.

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