Saturday, October 19, 2013

The DEATH of environmental journalism

Only bank share prices have collapsed as quickly.  The death of environmental journalism has been as rapid.  According to Zofeen Ebrahim at IPS US science reporters are themselves becoming an endangered species.

 The New York Times has canned its "green blog" and earth and environmental science journalism courses have closed at Columbia University and John Hopkins University.

The article quotes the number of "science" sections of newspapers falling from 85 in 1989 to just 19 in 2012.

This timing of this blog's resurrection appears to be either well timed (less supply and hence less competition) or even more pointless than before (as I assume newspapers cut the columns due to lack of demand/interest).

Hopefully as a global blog that does not rely on US readers there is some hope.  In fact blogs by their nature do not rely on having any readers at all (which is good news for this blog).  We have no adverts, no begging buttons and make no money whatsoever.

Of course these columns may have disappeared bbecause the twitter generation get their green news from high quality blogs (and less high quality blogs like this one).

The UK at least still appear interested.

U.S. Science Reporters Becoming an Endangered Species [IPS]

 Scott Dodd, editor of On of the Natural Resources Defence Council, and who considers climate change the “most urgent story of our times”, told IPS that environmental issues are “consistently under-covered”.

From 85 weekly science sections in newspapers in the U.S in 1989, there were just 19 left by 2012.
 Iinterestingly, this meltdown of environmental reporting in the U.S., observed Adam Vaughan, editor of the U.K. based Guardian’s environment site, is not mirrored on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Guardian, for example, still has four reporters, two editors, two sub-editors and a picture editor dedicated to the subject, and earlier this year the paper hired an Australian environment correspondent for the first time. The Times, said Vaughan, recently moved one of its best reporters, Ben Webster, back to the environment beat.
 But all is not lost. This shuttering has led to a new genre – a rise in nonprofit journalism.
“I have seen the rise of more specialist sites online, such as InsideClimate, which won a Pulitzer recently, and Climate Central,” said Vaughan.

“There’s been the rising phenomenon of philanthropic-funded environmental efforts [such as Carbon Brief, China Dialogue, and Energy Desk], as well as freely-distributed public interest reporting from veteran journalists under the banner of the Climate News Network which were doing some of the best reporting on climate change,” he said.


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