EJ Academy

Teaching Environmental Journalism. For the First Time. In a Pandemic.

An initiate to the ways of teaching collegiate journalism winds her way through unique obstacles of a first term under COVID-19, from students reporting in masks to class sessions on computer screens. Not to mention the already onerous challenges of training young journalists to report and write a range of environmental stories. EJ Academy has her story, from the stumbles to the successes.

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Searching for Narrative in the Groundwater Where It Happens

A graduate field scientist-cum-multimedia storyteller trains her eye on the confounding challenges of western water, with award-winning student reporting on three family farms that face the draining of critical groundwater basins. Could land that drought makes untenable for farming be restored as habitat for endangered species? That, plus how the “ladder of abstraction” helped her tell the tale. The most recent entry in EJ Academy.

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A Quick-and-Dirty Back-to-School Guide for the Apocalyptical Educator

In these downside-up days of contagion, climate disasters and social convulsions, being a journalism educator presents some seriously serious challenges. But in this EJ Academy back-to-school guide, pedagogical pilot Bernardo Motta offers seven tips to manage the mess. Among the advice: You are not an island. And everything will fail … and that’s a good thing.

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In Days of Social Distancing, Getting the Goods … Virtually

Can “phoning it in” actually be sound advice for journalists? It can — in the current coronavirus crisis — writes Cynthia Barnett, environmental journalist-in-residence at the University of Florida. In a special EJ Academy, she looks at how to teach young reporters to gather immersive reporting from afar.

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Pandemic Offers Challenges, Opportunities for Teaching

“Scared to cautiously optimistic” is how journalism educators are responding to the rapid ramp-up to remote learning in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, per the latest EJ Academy. Choosing between teaching live or “on tape,” whether to stick with existing curricula halfway through the term or tear it up to cover the contagion, and staying connected to students.

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The Journalism Student Who Went Down a Rabbit Hole and Came Up a Mine Shaft

A young journalist looking for a quick report found himself instead on a five-month odyssey to cover the hidden dangers of abandoned mining sites in the Southwest — then picked up a Society of Environmental Journalists’ student award in the aftermath. How this student’s persistence paid off, in the latest EJ Academy. 

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ASU’s Cronkite News Service Cleans Up in SEJ Student Awards

One journalism school seems to have hit on a formula for success in generating award-winning student reporting on the environment. EJ Academy editor Bob Wyss on why Arizona State’s Cronkite News Service cleaned up in this year’s Society of Environmental Journalists’ student awards category.

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Water Bottles in Class Offer Varying Lessons in Sustainability

Can consumption in the classroom become a reporting exercise for budding journalists? Our quarterly EJ Academy column explores how collegiate educators can handle sustainability questions. Should students be discouraged from using plastic water bottles? And should faculty use electronic handouts and texts instead of paper copies? Top instructors weigh in.

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For Students, SEJ Conference Can Make the Grade

Not only is the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual gathering a great way for student journalists to get propelled into the profession, argues our most recent EJ Academy column. It’s also how SEJ itself can invest in its future. The case for creative ways to bring newbies to the next conference.

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As Environmental Journalism Education Changes, Challenges Abound

Even as traditional journalism jobs are in decline, innovative educators are finding ways to fill seats in journalism courses. EJ Academy editor Robert Wyss unpacks a recent study that examines the challenges of environmental journalism education and explores how journalism instructors must stretch to focus on preserving the “functions of journalism.”  Find out more in our latest EJ Academy column.

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