Category Archives: Workshops

The Knight Center for Environmental Journalism organizes workshops to help journalists better report on the environment in the U.S. and abroad. Information about recent and upcoming conferences is posted here.

Scientists raise alarm over decline of invasive species in East African great lake

A fisherman carries two large Nile perch fish at Lihunda Beach in Lake Victoria on June 26, 2016. Image: Tonny Omondi

A fisherman carries two large Nile perch fish at Lihunda Beach in Lake Victoria on June 26, 2016. Image: Tonny Omondi

By Halima Abdallah

Editor’s note: Uganda-based reporter Halima Abdallah of The East African developed this story at an environmental journalism workshop led by Eric Freedman, director of MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism which publishes Great Lakes Echo.

Will the commercial viability of Lake Victoria and its ecosystem be sustained? This is the question arising from re-emergence of low value native species like dagaa against dwindling stocks of high-value species like the Nile perch.

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Image: Mike Gifford, Flickr

Cultivating uncertainty through science reporting

Image: Mike Gifford, Flickr.

By Marie Orttenburger

SACRAMENTO – Science is integral to environmental reporting, but it’s also a source of the field’s biggest dilemmas.

Science reporters often find themselves crafting imperfect metaphors, navigating complex findings, trying not to overwhelm the reader with data. And they’re doing all of that while struggling to understand the science themselves.

The “EJ Reporting: Don’t Forget the Science” panel at the Society of Environmental Journalist’s recent 26th annual conference tackled this challenge.  The discussion, featuring science reporters Sarah Zielinski, Dan Fagin, Janet Raloff and Christopher Joyce, opened with some reassurance. 

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Knight Center director, grad student, speak to visiting African journalists

Knight Center Director Eric Freedman discusses press coverage of the presidential election with African journalists

Knight Center Director Eric Freedman discusses press coverage of the presidential election with African journalists

Knight Center director Eric Freedman and environmental journalism master’s student Pechulano Ali were guest speakers at a three-day on-campus program for visiting African journalists sponsored by the State Department and organized by MSU’s Visiting International Professional Program.

Other presenters included Journalism Professor Folu Ogundimu and J-School alumni Danielle Emerson, ’10 and Lauren Gibbons, ’14.

Ten print and broadcast journalists from French-speaking African countries — Mali, Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, Madagascar, Senegal, Guinea, Benin and Cote D’Ivoire — took part in the program which traveled to MSU and other U.S. locations. Continue reading

Covering the waterfront: Workshop gives tips for reporting on water systems

Water expert Joan Rose, left, and journalists and Lansing's Board of Water and LIght treatment plant. The mural depicts the power of water. Image: Eric Freedman

Water expert Joan Rose, right, and journalists at a Lansing water treatment plant. The mural depicts the power of water. Image: Eric Freedman

By Amanda Proscia

Control panels shaped like Oldsmobile sedan grills, car door handles for controls and hubcaps used as light fixtures set the scene for a recent Knight Center workshop on how to report about drinking water.

More than a dozen Michigan journalists and environmental communicators met recently at the Lansing Board of Water & Light’s John F. Dye Water Plant for the daylong workshop, “Beyond Flint: Reporting the Unreported Water Stories in Your Community.

It’s an unusual water plant with a design inspired by that city’s automotive history. And the walls feature murals depicting the beneficial and destructive potential of water, and another showing human control of nature and the importance of water that was painted by Charles Pollock, brother of the more famous artist Jackson Pollock. Continue reading