“Newsroom Issues Affect Environment Coverage”
– Peter Lord
Paul Rogers, natural resources and environment writer at the San Jose Mercury News, compiled this list of training opportunities for journalists to improve environmental coverage. “One of the reasons this beat is perpetually interesting is that it’s the grandest train wreck of ideological, scientific and financial interests imaginable,” CNN science and environment Executive Producer Peter Dykstra once said. The opportunities include:

Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University. Founded in 1994, the program trains students and working reporters to research, write and report about environmental issues. It is chaired by Jim Detjen, a former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter.

Institutes for Journalism & Natural Resources (IJNR). Directed by former Wall Street Journal environment editor Frank Allen, the Montanabased IJNR is a nonprofit organization that, since 1995, has helped train more than 300 reporters and editors through weeklong expedition-style programs from the Great Lakes to the Chesapeake Bay, California to the Southwest.

Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island. Established in 1997, the institute provides fellowships for print, radio and TV reporters, emphasizing basic methods of scientific research, scientific uncertainty and statistics, particularly on marine issues.

Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). Founded in 1990, SEJ is the only national membership organization for environment writers. It sponsors an annual conference; offers mentoring, tip sheets, a listserv and regional seminars, and publishes a newsletter.

Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. Started in 1999 with a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the center provides mid-career training and seminars at the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication. Topics include environment, biotechnology, globalism, entertainment and new media.

Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado-Bolder. Founded in 1992 and since 1997 home to the Ted Scripps Fellowship, the center offers classroom instruction for students and the Scripps fellowship for working journalists for nine months, allowing them to study environmental science, policy and law in depth.

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