Thursday, July 19, 2007

Insights on Eco-Reporting

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Society of Environmental Journalists’ summer edition of SEJournal has an interesting interview with reporter Ken Weiss of the Los Angeles Times on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 5-part series “Altered Oceans” that he and others at the Times produced. At a time when resources devoted to investigative reporting are declining, Weiss offers insights to anyone trying to pitch investigative stories to editors. The interview, by Mike Dunne, touches on a number of areas, including:
 The evolution of the idea for the series (interesting – Weiss was new to the beat)
 The challenges in selling a long-term project to editors (can you say ‘travel’ without first gulping?)
 The choice to focus the series on environmental challenges already taking their toll - over gloomy forecasts for the future (provides more immediacy and relevance)
 The role of the reporter as ‘translator’ in making heaps of scientific data understandable to the public (the need for someone to stitch together the work of many scientists, each looking at very specific areas of research)
 The challenges of producing a multi-media product (‘storytelling is storytelling, no matter what the medium.’)
 The reaction by readers (‘The response was big. Really big.’)

You can view the LAT series “Altered Oceans” at,0,7842752.special

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