A recent study of global cropland expansion highlights several trends that are ripe with environmental news stories. One finding: New farm fields have taken over an area the size of Texas and California combined since the start of the century, an expansion primarily affecting biodiversity-rich natural ecosystems, with Africa leading the cropland boom. Freelancer Gabriel Popkin explores the latest data and the reporting possibilities.
If it often feels like the world of environmental journalism is all dour worry over our collective futures, resident humorist David Helvarg is here to remind you that our present is just as scary — if for different, and funnier, reasons. In his latest lampoon of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual conference, Helvarg shares his trademark jests from Houston. Plus, (straighter) reportage from the gathering at the conference coverage page.
Climate change reporting is sometimes peppered with jargon that confounds rather than clearly communicates. Audiences may miss not just one story’s message, but lose interest in the broader topic. Contributor Rebecca Hersher, a science reporter for National Public Radio, writes how the public’s connection with climate information increases when both journalists and scientists strive to replace elite terminology with simple and accurate language.
Environmental journalist Khalid Bencherif struggled to bring the emergent effects of climate change to the attention of local audiences facing many other pressing problems. So he told a powerful story grounded in personal experience, traveling to his childhood home in Morocco’s Tafilalet region, where deepening drought is hitting the oases hard and driving many villagers from their homes.
Even as the climate crisis countdown story continues, a wide range of environment and energy issues are on journalists’ watchlist for the year ahead, per an analysis from our “2022 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment.” The overview looks at 13 key trends to track in 2022 and beyond — including infrastructure, pandemics, environmental justice, energy, chemicals, plastics and, of course, climate.
The Mississippi River and its tributaries drain more than 40% of the continent, but most coverage of environmental stories within the Mississippi Basin is localized and siloed. The recently launched Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk hopes to help news outlets provide region-wide reporting that contextualizes issues like climate change-driven flooding and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone.
After an 18-month buildup, a one-day U.N. Food Systems Summit earlier this fall generated hundreds of commitments to end global hunger and a dizzying array of alliances dedicated to the cause. Despite controversies surrounding the summit, this groundbreaking event highlighted opportunities for reporting on food and food systems. Award-winning agriculture journalist Chris Clayton shares his insights.
A growing body of research shows the links between global warming and extreme weather. And that knowledge can help communities prepare, and assign responsibility for damages. Veteran climate journalist Bob Berwyn lays out the science of climate attribution — for heat waves, flooding, wildfires and, ironically, crop-killing freezes — and discusses its implications for future climate change policy.
Slashed news budgets and staff cuts have left many U.S. newsrooms short on time and resources for deep reporting on climate change and other complex topics. But two innovative projects at The Post and Courier in South Carolina — one enriching breaking news stories and the other fostering news outlet cooperation — aim at filling the void. Acclaimed journalist Tony Bartelme explains.
A new science assessment released this week pinpoints more global warming risks, but also represents reporting challenges to environmental journalists working to cover climate change. Veteran climate journalist Bob Berwyn has the latest news from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and advice for reporters working the climate beat. Plus, links to other climate change reporting resources.