Environmental Journalism

The creation and rise of the environmental beat in journalism has coincided with increased public and government interest in the environment. Beginning in the 1960s, there was a shift away from viewing environmental harm as an accepted cost of living in an industrialized world. Journalists responded with such stories as how automobile exhaust was choking the air of cities and describing water pollution so foul that a river could catch fire. As the beat matured, so did the reporting, and journalists needed to delve into increasingly complicated issues such as whether chemicals were threatening human health and whether the world’s temperature was rising.

Today, while the number of journalists covering the environmental beat is historically high, more are independent journalists as opposed to staff writers ...

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