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Environmental Journalism And The Law


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This presentation discusses how the media influences environmental law and policy.

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
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Environmental Journalism And The Law

  1. 1. Pressing Issues: How the Media Influences Environmental Law and Policy
  2. 2. Panelists: Bill Kelly – California Current Gary Polakovic - Make Over Earth, Inc. Fiona Smith - LA & SF Daily Journal Val Zavala - KCET Moderator: Randolph C. Visser Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP April 16, 2010
  3. 3. Environmental News Events Lead to Public Policy and Legal Changes
  4. 4. Environmental Journalism <ul><li>&quot;The news media plays an instrumental role in recognizing, defining and legitimizing certain environmental issues as social problems, news media coverage influences social change.&quot; The Environment And The Press – From Adventure Writing To Advocacy , Mark Neuzil </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cuyahoga River Fire Led to Federal Clean Water Act 1969 1972
  6. 6. Love Canal Led to Superfund 1978 1980
  7. 7. Bhopal led to EPCRA 1984 1986
  8. 8. CA Governor’s Task Force on Toxics leads to Proposition 65 1985 1986
  9. 9. What Climate Change News Event led to Kyoto Protocol, EU Cap & Trade, and AB32 1987 2005 2006 2007 2008
  10. 10. Two Biggest Stories of the Decade <ul><li>Climate Change </li></ul><ul><li>California Water Wars </li></ul>
  11. 11. New Media Environmental Newsletters
  12. 12. New Media Environmental Blogs
  13. 13. Challenges – Declining Resources <ul><li>&quot;&quot;Dozens of newspapers deserve praise and encouragement. But we have 1,500 daily newspapers in the country. From my perspective, not nearly enough of them work at this as often or as hard as they should. They have let their capacities atrophy. They have bought out or let go some of their most experienced and knowledgeable people who have reservoirs of historical perspective and historical knowledge on this beat. Mostly it was to save money.“ F. Allen, former editor of The Wall Street Journal </li></ul>
  14. 14. Challenges – Issue Complexity <ul><li>&quot;Everything is in shades of grey --- There aren't good guys and bad guys. The good guys are a little bad and the bad guys aren't all bad. So that's why it's hard to report the way we used to – good vs. bad.&quot; L. Beibe, Ocala Star Banner </li></ul>
  15. 15. Challenges – Localize Global Issues <ul><li>&quot;The challenge for environmental journalists is to learn how to make the global environmental stories local. There's almost always a way to tell these stories but often reporters don't find the right way.&quot; S. Miller, KING-TV News, Seattle, Oct. 12, 2002 </li></ul>
  16. 16. Objectivity vs. Point of View Advocacy <ul><li>There exists a minor rift in the community of environmental journalists. Some, including those in the Society of Environmental Journalists, believe in objectively reporting environmental news , while others, like Michael Frome, a prominent figure in the field, believe that journalists should only enter the environmental side of the field if saving the planet is a personal passion, and that environmental journalists should not shy away from environmental advocacy , though not at the expense of clearly relating facts and opinions on all sides of an issue. This debate is not likely to be settled soon, but with changes in the field of journalism filtering up from new media being used by the general public to produce news, it seems likely that the field of environmental journalism will lend itself more and more toward reporting points of view akin to environmental advocacy. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Objectivity vs. Point of View Advocacy <ul><li>&quot;Objectivity is not a horse to bet the network on. Or the newspaper either. Most of the world's newspapers, in fact, already make no pretence of anything close to objectivity in the American sense.“ M. Kinsley, &quot; The Twilight of Objectivity – How Opinion Journalism Could Change the Face of News ,&quot; Slate (09/17/06). </li></ul>
  18. 18. Objectivity vs. Point of View Advocacy