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History ofEnvironmental   JournalismPart 1: Before Earth Day    by Prof. Bill Kovarik
Intended for classroom lecturesThis slide presentation is intended for use in university   classrooms. Nearly all illustra...
HISTORY of EJ• It’s not new -- These issues and conflicts have  engaged writers and observers for millennia.   • Climate s...
EJ main themes• Human impacts on nature over millennia   – Covering the sciences such as geography, forestry, ecology,    ...
Science & democracy linked             The democratic process and the              applications of science … are          ...
“The world today is …    powered by science… To      abdicate an interest inscience is to walk with eyes    open toward sl...
"I have a foreboding of ... a (future)                          service and information economy ...                       ...
Science communication• Pliny the Elder –    – Historia Naturalis 1st C.• Marcus Vitruvius Polli, Architect 80 – 15 BCE    ...
De Re Mettalica – 1556An environmentally conscious textbook on mining                                Agricola’s book conce...
Fumifugium 1661• 1661 -- John Evelyn writes "Fumifugium, or the  Inconvenience of the Aer and Smoake of London  Dissipated...
Occupational                                            Diseases                                            Recognized    ...
Philadelphia 1739                     Dock Creed conflict                        One of first reported                    ...
Franklin writes"A Petition from a great Number of  the Inhabitants of the City of  Philadelphia, was presented to  the Hou...
(continued)Franklin argued for "public rights," and said the restraints on the liberty of the tanners would be "but a trif...
Benjamin Franklin•   1739 -- Benjamin Franklin and neighbors    petition Pennsylvania Assembly to stop    waste dumping an...
• The tanners win the argument in 1739 and stage a parade  through city. Andrew Bradford of the Mercury says:   – “They mu...
The industrial revolution  The Luddites were skilled textile workers who  originally worked at home. They were replaced by...
Byron defends the Luddites“During the short time I recently passed in  Nottingham, not twelve hours elapsed  without some ...
Reporting the violenceLondon Times covered the violence and  the trials but not the workers problems  or Byron’s plea for ...
Audubon’s 1827Birds of AmericaJohn James Audubon’s book was anenormous success when it was printedin Britain in various ed...
The moon hoax of 1835                                                  Few standards existed                              ...
Science was taken far moreseriously in the new publica-tions emerging in the mid-19thcentury. Some (like ScientificAmerica...
EnvironmentalPhotography• Bisson brothers were  French photographers  and alpine enthusiasts  whose mid-19th century  phot...
Social reform movements• Reformers awaken in  the late 1700s – mid-  1800s.• The emerging press is  there to cover the  co...
Dickensian London•   "Smoke lowering down from    chimney-pots, making a soft black    drizzle, with flakes of soot in it ...
Reform & ReactionAlexis de Tocqueville, Journey to England, 1835"Thirty or forty factories rise on the tops of the hills.....
Reform & ReactionFrances Trollope, Michael Armstrong: Factory Boy, 1840"My eye caught the little figures of a multitude of...
Reform & Reaction• 1820 -- Child labor reformsproposed by Jeremy Bentham• 1830 -- Thomas Southwood Smith publishes his Tre...
Reform & Reaction• 1848 -- Public Health Act -- National Board of Health isformed and leads local boards to regulate water...
Despite the obvious needfor reform, the board is a             catastrophic      political failure …        Aug 1, 1854 Lo...
UK Sanitary reform movement• Political cycles driven by press• Overwhelming evidence frequently denied  – “We prefer to ta...
Punch Magazine, London, 1852
Cholera comes back - 1854
Sept. 7, 1854 – John Snow breaks the Broad Street pump handle. (Library of Congress)
MichaelFaradayhanding his“card” toFather ThamesPunch magazine, 1858(This was an early version ofa Secchi disk test for wat...
Punch July 3, 1858 - Diptheria, scrufula, choleraSubtitle: A design for a fresci in the new Houses of Parliament
Meanwhile ….     Romantic writers rejoice in nature• Ralph Waldo Emerson: The stars awaken a certain  reverence, because t...
Romantic writers rejoice in nature      • HD Thoreau: "I went to the woods        because I wished to live        delibera...
Horace GreeleyThe New York Tribune publisher andeditor, well-known for his love of theNorth American wilderness, visitedYo...
George Grinnell• Editor of Forest and Stream  1876 – 1911• Prominent in Western  conservation movement,  backing explorati...
“Sport” hunting in Wisconsin
John Muir• Preservation versus “wise use”• Muir was well-known as a writer,  philosopher and naturalist and an  expert in ...
Environmental controversy and      Progressive era journalism• Animal conservation  – “Teddy bear” symbol  – Bird depletio...
Air pollution –a constant issue    in the press                     Washington DC, USDA, 1920
Graphic & research by Prof. Bill Kovarik
Graphic & research by Prof. Bill Kovarik
Graphic & research by Prof. Bill Kovarik
Reform spirit New York City 1878
Muckraking and monopoly• History of Standard Oil  -- Ida Tarbell• Railroads on Trial  -- Ray Stannard Baker• The Jungle  –...
Urban                              environmental                              issues• Slum housing / Pulitzer, Jacob Riis•...
Why muckrakers needed magazines                   • The newspaper is the                     mouthpiece of an older stock....
Patent medicines
Progressive fight     for public health     Samuel Hopkins             Adams        1871 - 1958•   Started in 1891 as a re...
"Criminal abortions arise from aperverted sex relationship under thestress of economic necessity, and theirgreatest freque...
The traditional paradigm:    Science writing was Yellow journalism•    “Magic or miracles, if not mere ridicule.”     – Da...
Science writing as yellow journalism                       William Randolph Hearst’s                         Journal – Ame...
Sewage in oysters and ice – 1906 – 1916
AP dominance resentedNews coverage of coal controversies has always been contested, butwhen the Associated Press printed o...
Fun with science• If science was even mentioned in a newspaper in the early  1900s, “it was in terms of magic or miracles,...
“Suppose it’s Halley’s Comet.          Well first you have a half-page of       decoration showing the comet, with        ...
Carr Van Anda                     Worked for a new and more serious approach to                     science news          ...
E.W. ScrippsFounder of Scripps newspaper chain• Founded United Press wire  service to counter AP  monopoly• Fascinated by ...
Walter Lippmann    NY World (Pulitzer)•   Relied on university and public    health scientists more than    industry•   Ch...
Scripps Science Service  founded 1922• Detailed  science news• Tended to  celebrate  science• Popularization  not debate
Ethyl leaded gas conflict 1924-26           • Media reported “mystery gas”             killing workers at Standard Oil    ...
Nat’l Coast Anti-Pollution League 1921Mayors and hotel owners from East Coast beach towns organized to fight oilpollution,...
Ethyl conflict source reliance
Pulitzer’s    World• Environmental issues are clearly  part of the news   agenda in 1928               •
Dust                                                            Bowl                                                      ...
Dorothea Lange     The story behind the famous “Migrant Mother” photo of 1936 is that something   impossible to ignore – a...
Science news goes mainstream                                        • NASW founded 1934                                   ...
Miracles 1951
Miracles 1951
Wm. Laurence & the atom bomb•   In 2004, journalists Amy Goodman and David Goodman called for    the Pulitzer Board to str...
Air pollution 1939•   St Louis Post Dispatch crusades against “smoke nuisance,” wins 1941 Pulitzer
Air Pollution 1940s – 50s                 Donora, Pennsylvania                    Oct. 30 -- 31 1948 smog                 ...
London1952 -- Dec. 4-8 -- Four  thousand people die    in the worst of the  London "killer fogs."    Vehicles use lamps   ...
• 1953 -- New York smog incident kills between 170  and 260 in November.
Los Angeles 1954• Heavy smog  conditions shut  down industry  and schools in Los  Angeles for most  of October.
New York, St Louis 1950s
Life Magazine info-graphic on      Air pollution, 1963
Conservation: The “blister brigade”•   Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas leads the "blister brigade" of Washington ...
Rachel Carson•   May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964•   Biologist and writer, author of    award winning books•   Silent Spring ...
Robert F. Kennedy 67-68 campaign
Earthrise photo: NASA, Apollo 8, Christmas eve, 1968
Environmental photography Ansel Adams
Photography as   environmental journalism          W. Eugene Smith,      Minamata, Japan 1971Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath -- ...
The Tragedy of the Commons              • 1968 -- Garrett Hardin          publishes his article in Science        • "Every...
Two Pulitzers 1967 for EJ Milwaukee Journal “For its successful campaign to  stiffen the law against water pollution in  W...
Press begins regular coverage• 1969 - 2013 New York Times   has formal environment beat.• Time and Saturday Review began r...
Broadcasting& environmental journalism                             CBS Evening News with Walter                           ...
River on Fire                                                           Cuyahoga River                                    ...
Earth Day 1970                                         Earth Day 1970 was a symbolic, social,                             ...
Thank you
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History of environmental journalism

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History.ej.part i.kovarik

  1. 1. History ofEnvironmental JournalismPart 1: Before Earth Day by Prof. Bill Kovarik
  2. 2. Intended for classroom lecturesThis slide presentation is intended for use in university classrooms. Nearly all illustrations are taken from the public domain, but a few of critical importance are included under the “fair use” copyright exemption for classroom teaching, Title 17: 107, “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research...”Please direct comments or questions to Prof. Bill Kovarik, bill.kovarik at gmail dot com. Thank you.
  3. 3. HISTORY of EJ• It’s not new -- These issues and conflicts have engaged writers and observers for millennia. • Climate science deniers like Nigel Calder often say that environmental journalism just popped up to advance the climate hoax. This is simply not true, as we will see.• Past controversies are similar – Centuries ago, people worried about air and water pollution, preventing disease, conserving land forests and animals, declining resources, undue influence by business, just as they do today.• The issues were often covered by the media of their era, as would be expected.
  4. 4. EJ main themes• Human impacts on nature over millennia – Covering the sciences such as geography, forestry, ecology, dendrology, glaciology, etc.• Nature writing and conservation advocacy – Romantic writers: Thoreau, Emerson, John Muir, Grey Owl – Wise use versus preservation: T. Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot – Science writers: Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, many others• Urban environment and public health – Vitruvius, Agricola, Ramazzini, Rudolf Carl Virchow, Jane Addams, Alice Hamilton, Clair Patterson, Joseph Needleman, Ellen Silbergeld, etc. – Disease, sanitation, smoke, drinking water, parks, chemical pollution etc.• Technology regulation – Examples: Steamboats 1850, smoke abatement from 1890s, Leaded gas and radium 1920s-30s, chemicals and air pollution from the 1940s, pesticides 1960s, water pollution 1970s, nuclear power 1980s, climate change 1990s, endocrine disruptors 2000s…
  5. 5. Science & democracy linked The democratic process and the applications of science … are intimately intertwined, for science does not operate in a vacuum… Discussions on the air or at the corner store revolve about these two centralVannevar subjects… (which are always) inBush, 1949 the background. They determine our destiny, and well we know it.”
  6. 6. “The world today is … powered by science… To abdicate an interest inscience is to walk with eyes open toward slavery.”“If we are anything we must be a democracy of the intellect. We must not perish by the distance between people and power, by which Babylon and Egypt and Rome failed. And that distance can only be closed if knowledge sits in the homes and heads of people with no ambition to control others, and not in isolated seats of power.” -- Jacob Bronowski, 1956 and 1973
  7. 7. "I have a foreboding of ... a (future) service and information economy ... when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority ...The dumbing-down of America is most evident inthe slow decay of substantive content in theenormously influential media … ”-- Carl Sagan, The Demon Haunted World, Random House, 1995
  8. 8. Science communication• Pliny the Elder – – Historia Naturalis 1st C.• Marcus Vitruvius Polli, Architect 80 – 15 BCE – Noted occupational diseases of miners• Galen, Greek Physician 129 – 217 CE• Marco Polo – Exploration 1254 – 1324• Columbus – Exploration 1490s – printing press magnified impact of explorations
  9. 9. De Re Mettalica – 1556An environmentally conscious textbook on mining Agricola’s book concerns assaying, mining and smelting metals, and contains strong warnings about occupational hazards. "The critics say further that mining is a perilous occupation to pursue because the miners are sometimes killed by the pestilential air which they breathe; sometimes their lungs rot away...” Agricola also noted that some Italian city- states passed laws against mining because of its effects on woodlands, fields, vineyards and olive groves
  10. 10. Fumifugium 1661• 1661 -- John Evelyn writes "Fumifugium, or the Inconvenience of the Aer and Smoake of London Dissipated" to propose remedies for Londons air pollution problem. These include large public parks and lots of flowers.• "The immoderate use of, and indulgence to, sea-coale in the city of London exposes it to one of the fowlest inconveniences and reproaches that can possibly befall so noble and otherwise incomparable City...• Whilst they are belching it forth their sooty jaws, the City of London resembles the face rather of Mount Aetna, the Court of Vulcan... or the suburbs of Hell [rather] than an assembly of rational creatures..."
  11. 11. Occupational Diseases Recognized 1712• Bernardo Ramazzini (1633 - 1714), the father of occupational medicine, publishes De Morbis Artificum Diatriba• Ramazzini also noticed that nuns tended to have a higher incidence of breast cancer and that lead miners and workers often had skin the same color as the metal. “Demons and ghosts are often found to disturb the [lead] miners,” he said.
  12. 12. Philadelphia 1739 Dock Creed conflict One of first reported environmental conflicts in US• May 15 -- Benjamin Franklin, editor of the Gazette, and his neighbors petition Pennsylvania Assembly to stop dumping in Dock Creek and remove the slaughterhouses and tanneries from Philadelphias commercial district.• William Bradford, editor of the Mercury, responds in alarm: “A Daring Attempt (attack) on the Liberties of the Tradesmen of Philadelphia."
  13. 13. Franklin writes"A Petition from a great Number of the Inhabitants of the City of Philadelphia, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth the great Annoyance arising from Slaughter-Houses, Tan-Yards, Skinner Lime-Pits, & c. erected on the publick Dock, and Streets, adjacent.”
  14. 14. (continued)Franklin argued for "public rights," and said the restraints on the liberty of the tanners would be "but a trifle" compared to the "damage done to others, and the city, by remaining where they are."
  15. 15. Benjamin Franklin• 1739 -- Benjamin Franklin and neighbors petition Pennsylvania Assembly to stop waste dumping and remove tanneries from Philadelphias commercial district. Foul smell, lower property values, disease and interference with fire fighting are cited. The industries complain that their rights are being violated, but Franklin argues for "public rights." Franklin and the environmentalists win a symbolic battle but the dumping goes on.
  16. 16. • The tanners win the argument in 1739 and stage a parade through city. Andrew Bradford of the Mercury says: – “They must be fine nos’d (nosed) that can distinguish the smell of Tannyards from that of the Common sink of near half Philadelphia…”• Franklin responds in the Gazette: It wasnt an attack on the liberties of the tanners but rather "only a modest Attempt to deliver a great Number of Tradesmen from being poisoned by a few, and restore to them the Liberty of Breathing freely in their own Houses."
  17. 17. The industrial revolution The Luddites were skilled textile workers who originally worked at home. They were replaced by low-skilled workers at steam powered looms in the early 1800s. Between 1811 and 1814, riots of starving workers occurred inside and outside the factories. Frame-breaking (sabotage) was the main goal. A show trial in York in 1813 led to executions. Press reaction was not sympathetic.“London, and many places in the interior of England, appear to be in a most dreadful state, from murders, assassinations, Ned Ludd, the leader, was robberies and riots, caused, no doubt, by a mythical figure of the the pressure of the times.” times like Robin Hood Niles Register (Baltimore, MD) 2:70, March 28, 1812.
  18. 18. Byron defends the Luddites“During the short time I recently passed in Nottingham, not twelve hours elapsed without some fresh act of violence… Whilst these outrages must be admitted to exist to an alarming extent, it cannot be denied that they have arisen from circumstances of the most unparalleled distress…“As the sword is the worst argument that can be used, so should it be the last… Feb. 27, 1812 House of Lords
  19. 19. Reporting the violenceLondon Times covered the violence and the trials but not the workers problems or Byron’s plea for justice. May 23, 1812 Jan. 12, 1813.
  20. 20. Audubon’s 1827Birds of AmericaJohn James Audubon’s book was anenormous success when it was printedin Britain in various editions beginning in 1827.It was a monumental work with largepage sizes featuring 435 hand-colored,life-size prints of 497 bird species.The book’s success signaled a newinterest in nature and in theenvironment.
  21. 21. The moon hoax of 1835 Few standards existed for science and environmental reporting in the new Penny Press papers of the 1830s …“We could perceive that their wings possessed great expansion and weresimilar in structure of those of the bat, being a semitransparent membraneexpanded in curvilinear divisions by means of straight radii, united at theback by dorsal integuments…” New York Sun, August 1835.
  22. 22. Science was taken far moreseriously in the new publica-tions emerging in the mid-19thcentury. Some (like ScientificAmerican) were originally fornon-scientists and featuredtechnology advances (like theBrush 1887 wind generator).
  23. 23. EnvironmentalPhotography• Bisson brothers were French photographers and alpine enthusiasts whose mid-19th century photos illuminated nature.• "La crevasse,” taken in 1862, during the ascent of Mont Blanc.• Ansel Adams will use some of the same techniques a century later.
  24. 24. Social reform movements• Reformers awaken in the late 1700s – mid- 1800s.• The emerging press is there to cover the controversies. Gin Lane – engraving by William Hogarth 1750
  25. 25. Dickensian London• "Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow flakes -- gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun." -- Bleak House, 1852• Other authors -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Francis Trollope, Elizabeth Gaskill -- inundate Victorian England with grave tales about child workers and diseased towns …• Reform spirit is sparked Fleet Street, c. 1850
  26. 26. Reform & ReactionAlexis de Tocqueville, Journey to England, 1835"Thirty or forty factories rise on the tops of the hills...sixstories (high). The wretched dwellings of the poor arescattered haphazard around them. Round them stretchesland uncultivated but without the charm of rustic nature.,,the fetid, muddy waters stained with a thousand coloursby the factories ... Look up and all around this place andyou will see the huge palaces of industry. You will hearthe noise of furnaces, the whistle of steam. These vaststructures keep air and light out of the human habitationswhich they dominate; they envelope them in perpetualfog; here is the slave, there the master; there is the wealthof some, here the poverty of most."
  27. 27. Reform & ReactionFrances Trollope, Michael Armstrong: Factory Boy, 1840"My eye caught the little figures of a multitude of children,made … visible, even by that dim light, by the strong reliefin which their dark garments showed themselves againstthe snow. A few steps farther brought me in full view ofthe factory gates, and then I perceived considerablyabove two hundred of these miserable little victims toavarice all huddled together on the ground … I knew fullwell what, and how great, was the terror [of beating by millforemen] which had brought them there too soon, and inmy heart of hearts I cursed the boasted manufacturingwealth of England, which … gives power, lawless andirresistible, to overwhelm and crush the land it pretends to
  28. 28. Reform & Reaction• 1820 -- Child labor reformsproposed by Jeremy Bentham• 1830 -- Thomas Southwood Smith publishes his Treatiseon Fever, arguing that the poor are impoverished by fever,which was preventable.• 1831 – House of Commons Factory Commission beginsinvestigating abuses of workers;•1833 -- Poor laws commission begins inquiry.•1842 – Royal Commission on Employment of children inthe mines issues report about “cruel slaving revolting tohumanity.”
  29. 29. Reform & Reaction• 1848 -- Public Health Act -- National Board of Health isformed and leads local boards to regulate water supply,sewerage, offensive trades and smoke. Illustrated London News, October 1849. Meeting of the General Board of Health, Gwydyr House, Whitehall Chadwick on right.
  30. 30. Despite the obvious needfor reform, the board is a catastrophic political failure … Aug 1, 1854 London Times
  31. 31. UK Sanitary reform movement• Political cycles driven by press• Overwhelming evidence frequently denied – “We prefer to take our chance of cholera than be bullied into public health…” Times of London, Aug. 1, 1854• Reform agencies empowered 1848, then disbanded 1854, then reorganized 1862• Dramatic, symbolic action (John Snow) catalyzed commitments to reform
  32. 32. Punch Magazine, London, 1852
  33. 33. Cholera comes back - 1854
  34. 34. Sept. 7, 1854 – John Snow breaks the Broad Street pump handle. (Library of Congress)
  35. 35. MichaelFaradayhanding his“card” toFather ThamesPunch magazine, 1858(This was an early version ofa Secchi disk test for waterturbidity)
  36. 36. Punch July 3, 1858 - Diptheria, scrufula, choleraSubtitle: A design for a fresci in the new Houses of Parliament
  37. 37. Meanwhile …. Romantic writers rejoice in nature• Ralph Waldo Emerson: The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence. Nature never wears a mean appearance. Neither does the wisest man extort her secret, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection. Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit...
  38. 38. Romantic writers rejoice in nature • HD Thoreau: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived…”
  39. 39. Horace GreeleyThe New York Tribune publisher andeditor, well-known for his love of theNorth American wilderness, visitedYosemite in the summer of 1859."I know of no single wonder of nature onearth which can claim superiority overYosemite." He called on the state ofCalifornia to protect "the most beautifultrees on earth." The mountains "surpassany other mountains I saw."
  40. 40. George Grinnell• Editor of Forest and Stream 1876 – 1911• Prominent in Western conservation movement, backing exploration, national parks, conservation of wildlife• Wrote about wildlife preservation and hunting with Teddy Roosevelt
  41. 41. “Sport” hunting in Wisconsin
  42. 42. John Muir• Preservation versus “wise use”• Muir was well-known as a writer, philosopher and naturalist and an expert in publicity. Greeley hired him to write on the Yosemite Glaciers in the New York Tribune in 1871, the first of 65 newspaper and magazine articles he wrote over the next 20 years. Muir fought the Roosevelt and Taft administrations over the Hetch- Hetchy dam – a water reservoir for San Francisco that Muir said wasn’t needed. But Roosevelt had the highest respect for him.
  43. 43. Environmental controversy and Progressive era journalism• Animal conservation – “Teddy bear” symbol – Bird depletion for hats: “millinery murder” – Bison extinction: “crime of the century” – “Church” of animal rights• Smoke nuisance• Water pollution
  44. 44. Air pollution –a constant issue in the press Washington DC, USDA, 1920
  45. 45. Graphic & research by Prof. Bill Kovarik
  46. 46. Graphic & research by Prof. Bill Kovarik
  47. 47. Graphic & research by Prof. Bill Kovarik
  48. 48. Reform spirit New York City 1878
  49. 49. Muckraking and monopoly• History of Standard Oil -- Ida Tarbell• Railroads on Trial -- Ray Stannard Baker• The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  50. 50. Urban environmental issues• Slum housing / Pulitzer, Jacob Riis• Child labor / Lewis Hine• Air and water pollution
  51. 51. Why muckrakers needed magazines • The newspaper is the mouthpiece of an older stock. It lags behind the thought of its times. . . . To us of this younger generation, our daily press is speaking, for the most part, with a dead voice, because … power resides in … that older generation.Will Irwin, 1911
  52. 52. Patent medicines
  53. 53. Progressive fight for public health Samuel Hopkins Adams 1871 - 1958• Started in 1891 as a reporter for the New York Sun• McClures Magazine, wrote about public health• Famous for Colliers Weekly series in 1905, "The Great American Fraud” – Led to the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and 1914 Federal Trade Act
  54. 54. "Criminal abortions arise from aperverted sex relationship under thestress of economic necessity, and theirgreatest frequency is among marriedwomen.” -- The Woman Rebel - NoGods, No Masters, May 1914, Vol. 1,No. 3."I cannot refrain from saying thatwomen must come to recognize thereis some function of womanhood otherthan being a child-bearing machine.”--What Every Girl Should Know, byMargaret Sanger (Max Maisel,Publisher, 1915)
  55. 55. The traditional paradigm: Science writing was Yellow journalism• “Magic or miracles, if not mere ridicule.” – David J. Rhees, historian• “It was standard practice to assign the staff humorist to cover local scientific conventions.”• Favorite topics included the length of beards and the papers with the longest and least familiar words.• Pulitzer’s New York World ran a column called “Wonders of Science.” Favored topic - cures for cancer, especially by mysterious radiation or colored lights.
  56. 56. Science writing as yellow journalism William Randolph Hearst’s Journal – American editors headlined lab tests showing that oysters, ice and milk sold throughout New York city were contaminated. – Legitimate public health issues but hysterical framing was typical – The hunt for Typhoid Mary took place from about 1911 to 1915.
  57. 57. Sewage in oysters and ice – 1906 – 1916
  58. 58. AP dominance resentedNews coverage of coal controversies has always been contested, butwhen the Associated Press printed only anti-labor views fromnewspapers owned by the coal industry, a socialist magazine called theMasses protested in 1914 with this cartoon showing AP dripping liesinto the water reservoir of the news. AP sued The Masses for libel, butlater dropped the suit.
  59. 59. Fun with science• If science was even mentioned in a newspaper in the early 1900s, “it was in terms of magic or miracles, if not mere ridicule,” said historian David J. Rhees.• “It was standard practice to assign the staff humorist to cover local scientific conventions.” The humorists would typically comment either on the length and luxuriousness of the beards worn by the assembled scientists or on the titles of papers which contained the longest and least familiar words, Rhees observed.
  60. 60. “Suppose it’s Halley’s Comet. Well first you have a half-page of decoration showing the comet, with historical pictures of previous appearances. If you can work a pretty girl into the decoration, so much the better. If not, get some good nightmare idea like the inhabitants of Mars watching it pass. Then… a two column boxed ‘freak’ containing a scientific opinion which nobody will understand, just to give it class…” 1985 Time Magazine -- Unnamed NY World editor, around 1912 (Emery, 1972).
  61. 61. Carr Van Anda Worked for a new and more serious approach to science news • Well versed in math (said to have once corrected a poor transcription of one of Albert Einstein’s equations).New York Times • Positivistic, pro-industry approach toeditor 1906 - 1932 science coverage • Relied mostly on industry sources, not university professors or public health advocates, in environmental controversies
  62. 62. E.W. ScrippsFounder of Scripps newspaper chain• Founded United Press wire service to counter AP monopoly• Fascinated by science• Founded Scripps Oceanographic Institute• Founded Scripps Science Service 1922
  63. 63. Walter Lippmann NY World (Pulitzer)• Relied on university and public health scientists more than industry• Championed the cause of the “radium girls” in 1928• Scientific controversy exemplified the difficulties of informed democracy;• Science also represented a powerful institution that could stem the tide of totalitarianism
  64. 64. Scripps Science Service founded 1922• Detailed science news• Tended to celebrate science• Popularization not debate
  65. 65. Ethyl leaded gas conflict 1924-26 • Media reported “mystery gas” killing workers at Standard Oil refinery in Oct. 1924 • Standard asked that “nothing be said about this in the public interest.” • Standard claimed there were no alternatives, blamed the press for biased and sensational news coverage
  66. 66. Nat’l Coast Anti-Pollution League 1921Mayors and hotel owners from East Coast beach towns organized to fight oilpollution, which was ruining their beaches. By the end of the decade, sewage andgarbage was closing beaches from Coney Island to Atlantic City. Extensive presscoverage due to celebrity leaders, eg Gifford Pinchot
  67. 67. Ethyl conflict source reliance
  68. 68. Pulitzer’s World• Environmental issues are clearly part of the news agenda in 1928 •
  69. 69. Dust Bowl Margaret Bourke-White writes in The Nation:By coincidence I was in the same parts of the country where last year I photographed the drought,As short a time as eight months ago there was an attitude of false optimism. “Things will getbetter,” the farmers would say. “We’re not as hard hit as other states. The government will helpout. This can’t go on.” But this year there is an atmosphere of utter, hopelessness. Nothing to do.No use digging out your chicken coops and pigpens after the last “duster” because the next onewill be coming along soon. No use trying to keep the house clean. No use fighting off thatforeclosure any longer. No use even hoping to give your cattle anything to chew on when theirfood crops have literally blown out of the ground. ( “Dust Changes America” The Nation May 221935 )
  70. 70. Dorothea Lange The story behind the famous “Migrant Mother” photo of 1936 is that something impossible to ignore – a feeling -- drew Lange to the “pea pickers camp” where Dust Bowl refugees, like FlorenceThompson, hoped to find work. As Lange took the photos, Thompson told her that she had just sold the tires from her car to feed the children. Lange published the photos but also ensured that relief authorities sent help to the camp.
  71. 71. Science news goes mainstream • NASW founded 1934 • 1937 Science pulitzers – Gobind Lal (Hearst) – William L. Laurence (NY Times) – David Dietz (Scripps-Howard) – Howard W. Blakeslee (AP) – John J. O’Neill (Herald Tribune)“We must make science accessible to the people. Otherwise it is dangerous.” --Gobind Lal
  72. 72. Miracles 1951
  73. 73. Miracles 1951
  74. 74. Wm. Laurence & the atom bomb• In 2004, journalists Amy Goodman and David Goodman called for the Pulitzer Board to strip William L. Laurence and The New York Times of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize. Laurence “had a front-page story in the Times disputing the notion that radiation sickness was killing people.” They concluded that "his faithful parroting of the government line was crucial in launching a half-century of silence about the deadly lingering effects of the bomb.” Others have disputed this assessment. William L. Laurence (left) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (right), talking at the Trinity Site in September 1945.
  75. 75. Air pollution 1939• St Louis Post Dispatch crusades against “smoke nuisance,” wins 1941 Pulitzer
  76. 76. Air Pollution 1940s – 50s Donora, Pennsylvania Oct. 30 -- 31 1948 smog incident. Twenty people died, 600 hospitalized and thousands suffering in this nationally publicized environmental disaster.
  77. 77. London1952 -- Dec. 4-8 -- Four thousand people die in the worst of the London "killer fogs." Vehicles use lamps in broad daylight, but smog is so thick that busses run only with a guide walking ahead. By Dec. 8 all transportation except the subway had come to a halt.
  78. 78. • 1953 -- New York smog incident kills between 170 and 260 in November.
  79. 79. Los Angeles 1954• Heavy smog conditions shut down industry and schools in Los Angeles for most of October.
  80. 80. New York, St Louis 1950s
  81. 81. Life Magazine info-graphic on Air pollution, 1963
  82. 82. Conservation: The “blister brigade”• Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas leads the "blister brigade" of Washington Post staffers and families down the old Chesapeake and Ohio canal from Cumberland, Md. to Washington D.C. in one of his spring hikes. In March, 1954, Douglas challenged their support of a highway to replace the C&O Canal. The area became a 12,000 acre national park in 1971 thanks largely to these efforts. (National Park Service Photo)
  83. 83. Rachel Carson• May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964• Biologist and writer, author of award winning books• Silent Spring published in the New Yorker in the noisy summer of 1963• Said DDT and other pesticides are killing birds in large numbers• Widely reported in press along with chemical industry counter- attacks.
  84. 84. Robert F. Kennedy 67-68 campaign
  85. 85. Earthrise photo: NASA, Apollo 8, Christmas eve, 1968
  86. 86. Environmental photography Ansel Adams
  87. 87. Photography as environmental journalism W. Eugene Smith, Minamata, Japan 1971Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath -- This photo had an enormous impact whenpublished June 2, 1972 as the centerpiece of a short Minamata photo essayin Life Magazine. Smith was severely beaten by thugs hired by the ChissoCorp., whose Minamata plant discharged the mercury that caused“Minamata disease.”At the wishes of Tomoko Uemuras family, and the Smith family,reproduction of the photo has been discouraged since 1997. However, asan important artifact of the history of environmental journalism, it has beenreproduced in small low-resolution format here.
  88. 88. The Tragedy of the Commons • 1968 -- Garrett Hardin publishes his article in Science • "Every new enclosure of the commons involves the infringement of somebodys personal liberty... cries of "rights" and "freedom" fill the air. But what does "freedom" mean? When men mutually agreed to pass laws against robbing, mankind became more free, not lessso. Individuals locked into the logic of the commons are free only to bring on universal ruin …”
  89. 89. Two Pulitzers 1967 for EJ Milwaukee Journal “For its successful campaign to stiffen the law against water pollution in Wisconsin, a notable advance in the national effort for the conservation of natural resources.”Louisville Courier-Journal “For its successful campaign to control the Kentucky strip mining industry, a notable advance in the national effort for the conservation of natural resources.”
  90. 90. Press begins regular coverage• 1969 - 2013 New York Times has formal environment beat.• Time and Saturday Review began regular environment sections• Look Magazine devotes issue to the ecology crisis• National Geographic begins regular articles on environmental problems.
  91. 91. Broadcasting& environmental journalism CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite had an occasional feature called: "Can the World Be Saved? AP article left AP, Dec. 9, 1970.
  92. 92. River on Fire Cuyahoga River June 22,1969News reporters meet with Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes and utilities director Ben Stefanski the day after the river caught fire. Stokes was angry that extensive local efforts to clean up the river had been stymied by state regulators who were more interested in protecting businesses. (Photos by Cleveland Plain Dealer)
  93. 93. Earth Day 1970 Earth Day 1970 was a symbolic, social, media event that marked a turning point in public attitudes toward the environment.Carter was a Washington Post reporter.From the WP, Earth Day, April 22, 1970
  94. 94. Thank you

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