Category Archives: Uncategorized

New study published on Isle Royale wolf relocations

The well-publicized relocation of wolves from the mainland U.S. and Canada to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior has been taking place without journalists on site.

Female wolf released on Isle Royale. Photo Credit: National Park Service

A newly published study coauthored by Knight Center director Eric Freedman found that coverage in the news media relied heavily on U.S. government sources, with little attention to the views and input from other sources, such as independent experts, Native American and First Nations representatives, park visitors or nearby mainland businesses.

The other authors are University of Michigan doctoral student Alexander Killion and Professor Mark Neuzil, the chair of the Department of Emerging Media at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

“The Effects of Access Restrictions and Communication Strategies for Divisive Environmental Management” examined the strategies and techniques used by the National Park Service and other agencies to keep the press informed. It also looked at how news outlets covered the controversial relocations that began in fall 2018.

The Park Service cited concerns about the health and safety of the wolves and of personnel as the reason to preclude access for journalists. The agency, however, provided the press with a stream of news releases, photos and videos.

The relocations were designed to rebuild the population of gray wolves on Isle Royale at a time when only two wolves were left on the island. Scientists and natural resource managers said it was necessary to rebuilding the wolf population as an effective way to control the number of moose on the island.

The study appeared in the journal Environmental Science and Policy.

Awards, scholarships recognize outstanding environmental journalism students

Students in our environmental journalism classes and working for the Knight Center and Great Lakes Echo garnered top recognition at the School of Journalism’s 2021 Awards Ceremony. Congratulations to all.

Don Caldwell Memorial Scholarship in Environmental Journalism

  •  Weiting Du, Taylor Haelterman and Chioma Lewis

Len Barnes AAA Michigan Fund Award

  • Jonus Cottrell, Taylor Haelterman and Indri Maulidar

Rachel Carson Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Environmental Journalism

  • Chioma Lewis

Mickie L. Edwardson Endowed Scholarship

  • Apoorva Joshi and Marie Orttenburger

Michael A. and Sandra S. Clark Scholarship

  • Claire Moore and Leigh Anne Tiffany

Edward J. Meeman Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Environmental Journalism

  • Lillian Young

Knight Center Service Award

  • Taylor Haelterman

      Chioma Lewis

      Jonus Cottrell

      Weiting Du

      Taylor Haelterman

      Apoorva Joshi

      Indri Maulidar

      Claire Moore

      Marie Orttenburger

      Leigh Anne Tiffany

      Lillian Young

Knight Center part of MSU Sustainability campaign

The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism is part of MSU’s “Earth Month 2021” fundraising campaign focused on showcasing university initiatives that support sustainability.

As part of the campaign, MSU is highlighting its status as the only Big 10 school on the Princeton Review’s list of the Top 50 Green Colleges and its 2020 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its management of urban forests on campus.

“Donor support makes it possible to operate Great Lakes Echo, our award-winning news service in which students cover climate change, threats to the Great Lakes, biodiversity, natural resources, extreme weather and other key environmental issues in the Great Lakes region,” center director Eric Freedman said.

In addition to the Knight Center, other program partners are the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, MSU Institute of Water Research, Student Organic Farm, MSU Bikes, MSU Sustainability, Michigan Pollinator initiative and Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment.

You can support the Knight Center and help Spartan students learn how to report on the world’s most important beat by donating at go.msu.edu/cp-knight-center.

Knight Center research director Bruno Takahashi publishes about Emergency Communications Policies in Puerto Rico

Bruno Takahashi

Knight Center research director Bruno Takahashi has published the article Emergency Communications Policies in Puerto Rico: Interaction between regulatory institutions and telecommunications companies during Hurricane Maria in the journal Telecommunications Policy. The study was led by Luis Rosario-Albert, a professor of communication at the Universidad Ana G. Méndez in Puerto Rico.

The study examined the view of telecommunications carriers’ representatives on the adequacy of emergency communications policies during Hurricane Maria in 2017 in Puerto Rico. The article also presents a policy analysis to assess the Federal Communications Commission, the Telecommunications Bureau of Puerto Rico and telecommunications companies’ emergency communications processes and outcomes. It points to ineffective government emergency communications policies due to the impact of external factors and the lack of coordination of the Puerto Rico’s electrical power provider and private telecommunications companies.

The study is part of the project Infrastructure collapse and its effects on news practices during Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, led by Takahashi and funded by the National Science Foundation.