Journalism: Telling true stories, well and accurately. Communicating information that will help people make sense of their world. Getting the story behind the story, avoiding the spin, finding the truth. A public trust with citizens to investigate and expose wrongs and trumpet rights. Doug Saunders : “universal reflex of citizenship.” Adding meaning to facts. “Gathering, analyzing, and disseminating socially relevant information in a consistent, transparent, and honest way.” - -Luis Santos --Thanks to Gina Chen!
What is Good News Writing? What happened? How has the world changed? So what? ABC: accuracy, brevity, clarity. multiple authoritative, reliable sources Quotes effectively Provides context balanced, unbiased Shows the reader what happened; doesn’t tell the reader what to think.
The five Ws and an H Who What Where When Why and How
What is environmentalism? Environmentalism, is a broad philosophy and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the state of the environment. -Wikipedia
Ok, really, what’s environmentalism? "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” —Rachel Carson, 1954
Paul Brooks, Rachel Carson’s editor: Conservationists need words because what they are trying to do is to enlighten and inform: to change fundamental attitudes, not because they say so, but because they have the facts that will command such change.
The Forest Beyond the Pyramid Most important & newsworthy Least Important; supporting details
Michael Frome: Environmental writing reaches deeper with beginning, middle, and end integrally joined. It thinks not simply of Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, but of species instead of an animal, a forest instead of a tree.
… the Whole writing with a purpose…thinking about the whole, with breadth and perspective – --Michael Frome Asking deeper questions. --Bill McKibben
Frome: More than reporting Social service Voice to struggle Honesty and purpose Risk and sacrifice Care for the non-human world
Are environmental reporters just tree huggers with a notebook?
Report. Don’t Exhort. People who want to write about the environment, care about the environment. That means they don’t think the way most people think. –Candy Page, BFP You can’t assume everyone shares your values, speaks Ecologish or gives a shit about trees. Make them care by showing them what’s true.
Felicity Barringer Good guys vs evil polluters is not always useful Take the side of science
Andrew Revkin Convey what the science has revealed What is not understood Future research Amount of uncertainty
Revkin Activism lies in choosing subjects like climate change and biodiversity loss that the media tend to shy away from because they don’t fit our norms: – Clear news “peg” – Risks relevant to daily life
“Environmental stories don’t break, they ooze.” —Frank Allen, Ex-Wall Street Journal writer