Environment Reporters in the 21st Century is the story of specialized journalists who, because of their expertise, their experience, or their willingness, regularly write about environmental issues. This is the story of a relatively new journalistic beat, one that developed during the lifetime of the authors. This book provides a view of American journalism in the first decade of the new century, when newspapers and television were the major source of news in America.
The authors have divided the work into three parts. The first, Environment Reporting, includes a review of the literature and a detailed explanation of the methodology of the current study. Part II, The Environment Reporters of the 21st Century, describes the results of the present research. Part III, The Craft: Telling the Environment Story, provides in-depth accounts of environment reporters at work. Was the first decade of the 21st century a golden age of environmental reporting? The final chapter puts this research in historical perspective, viewing it in terms of the economic decline of the newspaper business and of local television news.
Environment reporters and their sources are eager to get news out, but not always in the same way, or at the same time. There is a constant struggle among the thousands of environmental activists, corporate public relations people, government officials, and scientists to frame the message in a way that is advantageous to their point of view. This has been called the great ecological communication war, the war between conflicting public relations forces to influence public policy. These competing interests need to understand how journalists think and function. This volume tells the story of environmental reporting imaginatively and innovatively.