EJ Academy

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EJ Academy is a quarterly SEJournal Online column for environmental journalism educators and students to explore current research on environmental journalism, best practices or models for teaching and insights into the state of EJ education today.

For questions and comments, or to suggest or offer to write future EJ Academy columns, contact EJ Academy Co-Editors Bob Wyss at bobwyss@gmail.com or Emilia Askari at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

April 15, 2020

  • 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.

March 25, 2020

  • “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.

January 15, 2020

September 25, 2019

  • 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.

May 29, 2019

  • 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.

February 20, 2019

  • 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.

September 26, 2018

  • Journalism has hit many a speed bump in recent years. But one veteran observer finds that over the long haul, environmental reporters have produced much exceptional work. In the latest EJ Academy, Editor Bob Wyss looks at how trends like the growth of collaboration, startup innovation, and the explosion of visual and data journalism have boosted the professional in the last decade. Here are seven major findings from his research.

August 8, 2018

  • ​When it comes to nosing out the real “fake news,” reporters who cover environment, health and science have a long history of unmasking hype, misinformation and propaganda. The latest EJ Academy shares a new initiative to teach budding journalism and science students together, so they can be advocates for science and information literacy.

April 18, 2018

  • A journalism teaching project planned to cover local energy inequities. That was before Hurricane Irma swept Florida. In the end, inspired student reporters moved community leaders to action with human-centered, data-driven stories focused on solutions. Journalist and educator Cynthia Barnett shares the lessons in our latest EJ Academy column.