Thursday, June 26, 2008

Five Inconvenient Truths…Of Environmental Journalism

The Columbia Journalism Review's Observatory column (blog?) has had a couple interesting stories on coverage of the environment (we link to last week's below).
From the CJR:

...Whether or not Wired’s analysis is correct, it goes to show that reporting on climate-related issues is constantly frustrated by inconsistencies such as emissions balance sheets. What is green one day is gross the next, corn ethanol being the perfect example. So as much as The Observatory loathes the abuse of this phrase, we had to ask ourselves this: What are the “inconvenient truths” about environmental journalism? We came up with a five-point list, then fact checked it with Tim Wheeler, the president of the Society of Environmental Journalists and a reporter at the Baltimore Sun. Here’s what we compiled.

1) It Ain’t Sports Writing: A reporter covering, say, baseball doesn’t have to define a home run in every article, but a reporter covering climate almost always has to remind readers what greenhouse gases are. That chews up space—especially in traditional print publications where physical restrictions can chop a nuanced, thirty-six-inch piece into an oversimplified, ten-inch disservice to readers....MORE

From June 20:
“Green Fatigue” and “Eco Anxiety”

It’s not just the palpable frustration with Greenpeace solicitors on Broadway this summer — according to an article in the most recent New York Times Sunday Styles section, people are too overwhelmed by the command to be “green” to do much about it anymore....