The Pros of Environmental Journalism

Throughout my college career, I realized that what I most wanted to write about was environmental issues. To me, it seems like there is a hole there where we could have more specialized reporting on things happening in the science world. More specifically, the environment. Especially now, as we see more and more need to live sustainably.

I mentioned this in an earlier post about how people now need to seek out more information relating to climate change and other environmental issues on their own. But we also need science journalists to clarify the complexity of these issues. I’ve rounded up my favorite online places and people to turn to when I’m looking for accurate, easy to understand reporting on environmental issues.

 Ed Yong, who writes for The Atlantic is one journalist in particular who does a good job of bringing light to topics in science we might not see or hear about otherwise.

Brad Plumer at Vox (well, formerly at Vox I believe) is another favorite of mine, as is Vox for news in general. He does more reporting on environmental issues and makes them day to grasp, while making sure readers can see the consequences of their own actions. A good article to check out is this one, where he addresses the most commonly asked questions about climate change.

For a website full of environmental reporters and articles, check out Grist. They have a unique voice that is a little more light-hearted than your typical online newspaper, and talk about everything environment from lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint, to how current politics are going to affect us and the environment. They cover things that you would never think about otherwise, such as how the solar industry is seriously struggling right now.  Following some of their reporters on Twitter is also a great and quick way to stay up to date with what issues they’re focusing on at the moment.

Vice is another site with an extensive environment section and consistent reporting. I also like their writing style, which can be compared to Grist and even The Atlantic. Some of the reporters even talk in the first person, like in this recent article about the effects of fracking on a small town in Canada. They’re great in general for reporting on things that mainstream media doesn’t typically pick up.

And an honorable mention, EarthTechling: this site is more aimed toward consumers, with the latest on green technology and simple ways to switch up your own tech needs to be more sustainable.

Of course, I couldn’t write something like this and not include National Geographic. If I had a dream job, this would be it. Their international coverage of environmental issues, and more, just can’t be compared to other online publications. Not to mention the stunning photography. They’re also one of my favorite accounts to follow on social media, especially Instagram, because of the photos and bite-sized content they share. I also love their animals and culture sections. These are reporters who really know what they’re doing, and aren’t afraid to dive deep to get every bit of information they can.

Environmental journalism is going to grow a lot in the next few years (or at least that’s what I believe). It’s vital to the public’s understanding of how environmental issues are going to affect us, and bridges that gap of understanding between the general public and scientists collecting data and doing research. Typically, most publications are supposed to write at an eighth grade level, although it can differ in different places. But clarity and accuracy are prided among good reporters, which is what will be revolutionary in making science accessible to more people.


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