Tag Archives: environmental journalism

Knight Center director discusses African perspective on environment, U.S. election

By Kevin Lavery
This story originally appeared on Current State and is republished here with permission.

The world is watching as Donald Trump prepares to become the 45th President of the United States. As he selects his team of advisors, many are waiting to see what policies will emerge under Trump’s leadership. Environmental regulation is just one issue.
A year ago, the U-S joined more than 100 nations in signing the Paris Agreement, which sets forth actions to slow the effects of climate change. Now, some analysts believe a Trump administration may be poised to withdraw U.S. participation in the agreement. Such an action could significantly roll back greenhouse gas emissions standards.
Current State talks with the chair of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University. Eric Freedman is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist who formerly wrote for the Detroit News. He’s recently returned from an environmental journalism workshop in Kenya, an area of the world that’s keenly watching America’s next moves.
Image: Scott Pohl

Cultivating uncertainty through science reporting

Image: Mike Gifford, Flickr.
By Marie Orttenburger
SACRAMENTO – Science is integral to environmental reporting, but it’s also a source of the field’s biggest dilemmas.
Science reporters often find themselves crafting imperfect metaphors, navigating complex findings, trying not to overwhelm the reader with data. And they’re doing all of that while struggling to understand the science themselves.
The “EJ Reporting: Don’t Forget the Science” panel at the Society of Environmental Journalist’s recent 26th annual conference tackled this challenge.  The discussion, featuring science reporters Sarah Zielinski, Dan Fagin, Janet Raloff and Christopher Joyce, opened with some reassurance. 
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Environment reporter talks AP with Knight Center students

John Flesher speaks with students over a pizza lunch. Image: Barb Miller.

John Flesher, left, speaks with journalism students at the Knight Center about his career at the Associated Press. Image: Barb Miller.


By Marie Orttenburger
John Flesher has spent almost his entire news career working for the Associated Press.
That’s given him an up-close view of the wire service’s evolution in the past 35 years.
He evolved as well, growing into environmental coverage and providing the AP with Great Lakes news—a coverage area it had not previously explored.
Flesher recently visited Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism to talk with students about his career path.
He began at the AP doing editing and broadcast writing assignments and general reporting at the Raleigh, North Carolina bureau. He covered a range of subjects before settling into a government and politics beat.
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Dan Fagin talks Toms River, environmental reporting, cats

Dan Fagin discusses environmental journalism and his Pulitzer Prize-winning Toms River with MSU students in the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism

Dan Fagin discusses environmental journalism and his Pulitzer Prize-winning Toms River with MSU students during a pizza lunch in the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. Image: Anthony Cepak


By Marie Orttenburger
Dan Fagin describes epidemiology as “a very long word for a very simple thing.”
What it amounts to is connecting the dots, he said recently at a presentation about his Pulitzer prize-winning book at Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. Though the concept may be “simple,” the process is no small feat.
Fagin is an environmental journalist and director of New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. He visited MSU to discuss epidemiology and how he applied it in writing his best-selling book, “Toms River.” Continue reading