This is a three-credit class aimed at learning about global environmental issues and reviewing methods to report on them in a manner that is accurate, appealing, and relevant to local audiences. We combine developing deeper knowledge of environmental issues through lectures by experts with reporting and story-telling techniques aimed at helping turn students into accomplished science-based reporters and story-tellers.
Each weekly class will be divided roughly in half between a discussion of major thematic areas related to international environmental reporting and the often complex science and policy issues that underlie them, followed by a more practical session about reporting tactics and story-telling techniques for crafting accurate and engaging stories on these issues. This will include discussion of how to turn these global issues into local stories, how to address the international dimensions of local issues, and how to make them all relevant to domestic audiences.
Students will also be encouraged to pursue reporting trips aimed at producing stories, occasionally in collaboration with other students. These trips are expected to take place during spring break of 2018. Funding for travel grants will be made available to all students. Approval for travel is based on the pitches students provide outlining the stories they hope to pursue. All media formats are welcome.
The class will also focus on the multi-disciplinary knowledge necessary for environmental reporting—crossing into realms of science, geo-politics, finance and the law. We aim to bring in numerous guest experts, scientists and journalists to discuss the topics in detail. Students will be assigned to produce topical stories, some of which we will go over in class, along with examining some of the best stories that have appeared in the media. The aim is to further develop reporting and narrative skills, and to apply them to the complex convergence between science, economics, geo-politics and ecology.