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Two high schools win journalism-environmental science grants from the Knight Center

The Knight Center is awarding $2,000 grants to two Michigan high schools for collaboration between journalism and environmental science classes.

The winning projects were selected in the center’s second statewide competition.

The Knight Center also has matched the schools with professional journalism mentors to work with the students and teachers for guidance and advice on the projects.

The grants go to:

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Knight Center hosts free Grand Rapids workshop on covering rivers

The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism will host a free one-day workshop on Saturday, April 1, for journalists about reporting on river issues as diverse as pollution, wetlands, habitat restoration, water recreation, shoreline development and dam removal.

“Covering the Grand River — Covering Any River” workshop is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the L.V. Eberhard Center on Grand Valley State University’s downtown Grand Rapids campus. It’s open to staff and freelance journalists in any media. Lunch is free. Enrollment is limited.

Presenters will be from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, GVSU’s Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute and Environmental Health News. A riverfront walking tour (rain or shine) will be led by the Grand Valley Metro Council’s director of environmental programs.

The Knight Center, which is part of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, held a similar workshop last year in Lansing that focused on covering drinking water in the aftermath of the Flint water crisis.

For information or to register, email Barb Miller at or call 517-432-1415.

This event is part of the year of water festivities.


Environmental photographer visits MSU

Virginia placement from "Next Stop Atlantic" exhibit by Stephen Mallon

Virginia placement from “Next Stop Atlantic” exhibit by Stephen Mallon

By Kate Habrel

Subway cars and the Atlantic Ocean are two things not typically paired. But they are exactly what photographer Stephen Mallon brings together in his solo exhibition “Next Stop Atlantic.”

The exhibition features photos of subway cars being tossed into the waters of the Atlantic, where they will become barrier reef habitats for aquatic life. It opened at the MSU Museum on Feb. 20 and will run through September.

Mallon often works at the intersection between environment and industry. He’s photographed everything from the world’s biggest ships to the American recycling industry. In 2009, his series “Brace for Impact: The Salvage of Flight 1549” told the photographic story of Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s emergency landing of a passenger plane in the Hudson River.

Mallon’s work has appeared in National Geographic, the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and other publications.

Mallon is at MSU from Feb. 26 through March 3 to speak to photography, journalism and communication students during class visits. On March 1, he will visit the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism for lunch with students.

Mallon will also give a free gallery talk on March 2 at 12:15 p.m. It’s open to the public.

Journalism Professor Howard Bossen is the exhibition curator.

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.”