Category Archives: Uncategorized

Knight Center director reports on trafficking in wildlife skulls

Knight Center director Eric Freedman explores the dark world of illegal trafficking of wildlife skulls in “The Bone Collectors,” the cover story in the winter issue of Earth Island Journal.

It’s a story of greed, intrigue, science, conspiracies, mysticism, collectors, corruption and investigators.

It’s a story of a wide range of animals, many of them endangered or threatened, including helmeted hornbills, Bornean orangutans, tigers, walruses, African antelopes and rhinos.

And it’s a story that stretches from the MSU Museum and the Smithsonian to Southeast Asia to Alaska to the U.S.-Canadian border.

As for long-term implications, Freedman writes, “Experts warn that the illegal trade in skulls and other wildlife parts creates a major obstacle to the preservation of biodiversity.”

Open call for 2022 proposals for high school journalism and environmental science collaborations

To encourage collaboration between high school journalism and environmental science classes, we invite teachers to submit proposals for innovative class projects in which journalism students will report about field research by environmental science students. Our principal goals are:

  • to help young prospective journalists better understand and explain to the public how science is done
  • to help environmental science students learn to use the media to explain their work to the public.
  • To promote environmental and science journalism.

The Knight Center intends to award 1-year grants of $2,000 to up to 3 high schools: $1,000 to the journalism program and $1,000 to the environmental science program for equipment, software or scholarships. In addition, the Knight Center will pair each school with a professional journalist to serve as a mentor to participating students and teachers.

Here are the details:

  • Your proposal must include a project description (750 words maximum), the names and contact information for a partnering journalism and environmental science teacher from the same high school; grade levels of participating classes; and the estimated number of students in the participating classes. A proposal form is attached.
  • Your projects must generate student-produced news or feature stories with visuals (photos and/or graphics) for print, online, audio and/or video that your school will disseminate. The Knight Center will also disseminate these stories to the public through our website, and some stories may be posted on Great Lakes Echo (greatlakesecho.org), the center’s award-winning online regional environmental news service.
  • Grantees must comply with MSU financial reporting procedures.
  • Grantees (students, teachers and professional mentors) will be invited to a one-day workshop at MSU in Fall 2022.
  • Application deadline: November 29, 2021. Awards will be announced by January 14, 2022. Projects should begin in March 2022 and be completed with a final report by the end of December 2022.
  • Read about the successful 2018-2019 grantees at https://knightcenter.jrn.msu.edu/2019/03/06/four-high-schools-win-journalism-environmental-science-grants-from-the-knight-center/

Send along a Grant Application Cover Sheet with the following information:

  • School name and address
  • Participating journalism teacher (name, email, phone)
  • Participating environmental science teacher (name, email, phone)
  • Project description (750 words maximum): What do you intend to do (scientific research
    and journalistic coverage) and how? What are your goals for the project? How will you
    assess accomplishments?
  • Titles and grade levels of participating classes:
    • Journalism:
    • Environmental science
  • Name, title, email and phone of administrator authorizing submission of the proposal:

Submit by November 29th to Barb Miller at mille384@msu.edu

If you have questions, email Eric Freedman at freedma5@msu.edu

 

 

Knight Center Documentary Grant competition

The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism will award up to 3 grants of $3,500 each to support the making of environment-related documentaries (video, audio or other digital media) by MSU faculty-student teams.

Here are the essentials

Deadline for submission: November 29, 2021, at 5 p.m.
Decisions to be announced approximately January 14, 2022.
Open to faculty and students from all departments at MSU.
Maximum award: $3,500 for 1 year.

These must be documentaries, not public service announcements or advocacy pieces.
The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism must be credited for underwriting the project.
The Knight Center will be entitled to use your documentary, including linking on our website and presentation in classes, workshops and other activities.
Allowable expenses include travel, essential equipment, supplies, pay for students and festival & competition entry fees. All expenditures must comply with MSU procedures and rules. Any equipment purchased remains the property of MSU. Grant funds must be expended with one year from the date of approval by MSU Contracts and Grants.

What to Submit:

  • Working title
    • Medium: video, audio or other digital media
    • Project summary (200 words maximum): What compelling story will you tell?
    • Estimated timeline (Be realistic)
    • Most likely audiences: Whom do you expect to watch or listen to it?
    • For video & audio documentaries, what length do you expect the final version to be?
    • Distribution plans: How will you disseminate your product?
    • Budget plan: How do you plan to spend the money?
    • Team members:
    • Faculty: name, rank and department or school and project role, with abbreviated CV
    • Students: name, year, major and project role, with resume
    • Potential problems and obstacles
    • Links to any relevant projects by team members or bring a CD to the Knight Center office at 382 Com Arts Building by the deadline

Email questions to Eric Freedman, Director, freedma5@msu.edu
Email submissions to Barbara Miller, mille384@msu.edu

 

Echo part of climate collaborative getting new story-sharing tool

By David Poulson

Readers of Great Lakes Echo will soon benefit from a new tool to share climate change stories with a nationwide network of nearly two dozen regional news organizations.

The Michigan State University news service run by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism is part of a network of regional journalists reporting on climate change that is organized by the Local Media Association.

That group announced Sept. 22 a $200,000 award from the Google News Initiative to partner with Distributed Media Lab (DML) to develop story-sharing technology for the climate reporting initiative.

Continue reading