Author Archives: davepoulson

EJ grad students win national awards

Three Michigan State University graduate students in environmental journalism won top awards for the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts. Kate Habrel and Marie Orttenburger were part of the team that won Best of Festival for a multimedia project titled “The New Vinyl.” Cheyna Roth, a recent graduate, won the Award of Excellence with her team for a documentary directed by Professor Geri Alumit Zeldes titled “Hubert, His Story.”

Habrel and Orttenburger’s project explores the renewed interest in vinyl collecting, combining interviews, photos and video that they compiled into a website. “Hubert, His Story” followed Hubert Roberts, a former convict granted parole in 1999, as he reintegrated back into society and grew into a community leader and mentor in Flint, Michigan.

The winners will attend the award ceremony on April 24 in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of the Broadcast Education Association’s annual convention. Recipients will have their projects screened at the convention and will receive $1,000 from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation. The winners were selected from over 1,450 separate entries, representing 175 colleges and universities.

“I’m flattered that our hard work was recognized in such a big way,” Habrel said, “and look forward to attending what’s sure to be one of the highlights of my first year of graduate school.”

Echo staffer provides tips for covering sustainable agriculture

Marie Orttenburger

Marie Orttenburger

A visit to the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference provided a new tool for the organization’s toolkit for reporters covering the environment.

Marie Orttenburger wrote up information provided at a conference panel and did additional research for a tipsheet on covering sustainable agriculture for the organization’s online toolbox. Find it here.

Orttenburger is an assistant editor and reporter at Great Lakes Echo – the news service provided by Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.



New SEJ executive director seeks new members and funds

Melisa Klem

Melisa Klem

By Karen Hopper Usher

EAST LANSING — Money, access and people. Those are Melisa Klem’s priorities as the new executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

While not a journalist, Klem’s work in proposal and grant writing is that of a person who knows how to wield words.

“I consider writing proposals to be a competitive sport,”  said Klem, who began her new job with the start of the new year. Her most recent post was as director of development at the Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

She said she loves fundraising and was looking for an opportunity to become an executive director of a non-profit organization.

“SEJ needs a fundraiser at the helm, and I think we’ve found that,” said Bobby Magill, president of the society’s board of directors.

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