September 22, 2021

Frontline Journalism Is A Foundation of Environmental Achievements and Institutional Strength

“The walls of the valley are made up of rocks, mountains in size, partly separated from each other by side cañons and gorges,” wrote John Muir of magnificent Yosemite Valley. “They are so sheer in front, and so compactly and harmoniously built together on a level floor, that the place, comprehensively seen, looks like some immense hall or temple lighted from above.” With this frontline account, published in the August 1890 edition of Century Magazine, the …

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Circle of Blue Honored by Society of Environmental Journalists

Credit: Photo © Matt Black / Circle of Blue Kettleman City resident Maria Salcedo’s ten-month-old daughter, Ashley Alvarez, died from complications stemming from multiple birth defects during a rash of such occurrences between 2007 and 2008 in this small farmworker town in the Central Valley. Contaminated drinking water is viewed as one of the potential causes. Photo © Matt Black / Circle of Blue. Click image to enlarge.   Circle of Blue, where I’ve worked …

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Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ Is Fun and, Perhaps, Something More

Pharrell Williams was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where his friends and family knew from his earliest days as a percussionist in the school band, and his singing performances in school plays, that the artist with the top song on worldwide pop charts for the last 10 weeks would amount to something rare. Even before Pharrell posted the ‘Happy’ dance video last October, he’d won seven Grammy Awards for songwriting, production, and performance, …

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Multi-Media Environmental Journalism at Circle of Blue

Since the day back in 1981, when Inquiry Magazine dispatched me to the mountains of Cherokee County to find out why a popular defoliant was causing so much trouble in the forests and small towns of western North Carolina, I’ve been an environmental reporter. Today, Circle of Blue, where I serve as a senior editor and producer, posted “Reign of Sand,” an online multi-media report on the transition from grass to dust that is occurring …

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A Journalist Turned Environmental Activist in China

My new MacBook has a video camera and communications features (okay, don’t laugh all you Apple freaks) that enables me to dial up sources on Skype and also see who I’m talking to on my screen. On Friday morning I used these tools to interview John D. Liu, an American-born videographer, soil scientist, and founder of the Environmental Education Media Project for China, a 10-year-old environmental organization based in Beijing. My questions concerned the growing …

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Saying Goodbye To Thanksgivings With Newspapers

Thanksgiving at my house in White Plains wasn’t just the day that you could hear the trumpets and trombones warming up at the old stadium for the annual high school football game, or when grandmothers and grandfathers from both sides, aunts and uncles and cousins showed up for Mom’s turkey feast. It also was the day that the Reporter Dispatch thumped onto the driveway, a holiday newspaper stuffed with advertisements and inserts. It’s still that way in some …

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New Midwest Online News Entry

John Bebow, an active member of the association of newsies-who-became-public-interest-advocates, sent an interesting item in his weekly email alert about the emergence of online news organizations in the Midwest. John diverged from a decorated daily news career,  that included stops at the Detroit News and Chicago Tribune, to become the executive director of the Center For Michigan, a nearly two-year-old non-profit that focuses on state economic and competitiveness issues that was founded by Phil Powers, the founder and former …

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1Sky, Step it Up, and the Citizen-Media Campaign to Prompt Action on Climate

[youtube]q71cMRGXx9o[/youtube] When it came to reaching large numbers of people in the 20th century, it was all about mass. Mass marketing. Mass audiences. Mass communication. Journalist David Halberstam published an important book in 1979, The Powers That Be, that documented the influence of a handful of large publishers — Time, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times — and a broadcast company — CBS — in setting the cultural, political, and social agenda in the United States.  One of the …

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Online, Televised, Blogged, YouTube and More New Media at the Clinton Initiative

NEW YORK — Live television images from the various plenary and working sessions are everywhere at the Clinton Global Initiative. They appear on screens as big as king size bed sheets in the main conference hall. They illuminate flat screens that stand in the halls and smaller meeting rooms. A row of small screens decorate a refreshment area close to the lobby of the Sheraton New York. This demonstration of televised ubiquity is just the leading edge of a communications strategy …

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