2nd Edition

Covering the Environment How Journalists Work the Green Beat

By Bob Wyss Copyright 2019
    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

    This practical primer explains the primary issues in writing about the environment, identifies who to go to and where to find sources, and offers examples of writing and reporting the beat. Observations and story excerpts from experienced journalists provide real-world context both for those in the U.S. as well as internationally. Practice story assignments, resources, and a glossary of critical terms gives budding journalists all the tools needed to cover the green beat. Updated with detailed coverage of how companies and climate change have evolved over the past decade, this second edition expands upon the digital sphere and the myriad ways that deadline, multimedia and mobile reporting have changed environmental journalism. Including consideration of issues such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and the GMO controversy, this new edition provides a fresh take on the green beat with a newly organized table of contents and a guide to freelance and entrepreneurial journalism anywhere in the world.

    Contents include:

    • an overview and history of the environment and journalism, spotlighting the most significant issues in the beat;

    • guidance on understanding environmental and health science, ranging from issues of risk, to scientific research and studies, to interviewing scientists;

    • insights into government and regulatory communities and environmental advocates on all sides of the political spectrum and internationally;

    • assistance in accessing public records and conducting digital and computer-assisted reporting;

    • guidance in writing the story for print, broadcast and internet audiences;

    • an examination of the future of journalism and news coverage of the environment in the U.S. and throughout the world.

    Part I: Introducing the beat

    1 Covering the environment

    2 History of environmental communications

    Part II: Reporting the beat

    3 Understanding risk

    4 Understanding science

    5 Interviewing scientists

    6 The regulators

    7 The advocates

    8 Investigative reporting tools

    Part III: Writing the beat

    9 Shorter news stories

    10 Longer news stories

    11 Opinion

    12 Broadcast journalism

    13 Online journalism

    Part IV: Understanding the beat

    14 Fairness and advocacy

    15 The future of environmental journalism


    Author Bob Wyss has been a journalist and an educator for his entire career. He has covered environmental and energy issues for a variety of publications, including the Providence Journal, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Audubon magazine and Huffington Post. He has been a professor of journalism and has taught environmental journalism and other subjects, at the University of Connecticut and other schools. He is the author of three books.