Journalism & Media

The Secret History Of The War On Cancer


By Devra Davis

Basic Books (2007), $27.95
Reviewed by JenniferWeeks

In 1971 President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act, formally launching a war on the second-leading cause of death in the United States. The legislation promised more funding and targeted government support for cancer research. "The time has come in America when the same kind of concentrated effort that split the atom and took man to the moon should be turned toward conquering this dread disease," Nixon urged in his State of the Union Address earlier that year.

Millipedes and Moon Tigers: Science and Policy in an Age of Extinction


By Steve Nash
University of Virginia Press, $22.95

Reviewed by Christine Heinrichs

Environmental change manifests in ways so different, its fragments can seem unrelated. Steve Nash's 15 feature articles, brought together in book form, stitches the fragments together, telling a dramatic story of the changes rippling through our world.

Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry Of Everyday Products Who's at Risk And What's At Stake For American Power


By Mark Schapiro
Chelsea Green Publishing, $22.95

Reviewed by Susan Moran

In the quagmire of the Iraq war, the United States has lost credibility as a world leader. In Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products, investigative journalist Mark Schapiro offers another version of the erosion of American leadership. In this case, it's how the U.S. government has gone from one whose environmental laws and regulations were once a model for other nations to one whose standards have fallen so far below those of even some developing nations.

Slideshows Can Highlight Big Projects, Offer Readers More



Every story has moments that get left out in the retelling. Sometimes those moments are what reporters remember most, but have a hard time describing in a print news story.

Because of the Internet, those moments—both in images and audio—now can be shared with the readers.

The inflections in a source's voice, the photos that help explain, the odds and ends you collect that would normally be buried on your desk – those now have a place in an online slideshow.

Studies Look At News Bias And Internet's Impact On Coverage



 The Internet has transformednewsaboutoil spills by providing accounts that rivet global attention and go beyond official versions of the disasters, a recent study suggests.

Specifically, environmental groups' increasingly sophisticated Internet use has expanded the ways in which oil spills are framed. Via their websites, email and blogs, the groups have interrupted official efforts to control information about the spills and mobilized local and international action, according to the study.

Details Of People's Lives Enliven Book On Oil Production



Lisa Margonelli is an Oakland, Calif.-based freelance journalist, a fellow of the NewAmerica Foundation, and the author of Oil on the Brain, a book that describes "petroleum's long, strange trip to your tank."

Margonelli has written for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, Business 2.0, Discover and Jane. She was a recipient of a Sundance Institute Fellowship and an excellence in journalism award from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists.

Media On The Move



Jim Handman and Pat Senson, producers with CBC Radio's weekly science progra, "Quirks & Quarks," have won the 2007 ScienceWritingAward from the American Institute of Physics. It is the second time the team from Q&Q has won the prestigious prize. The program has been a runner-up in the SEJ Awards three times.

Don't Leave Climate Change, Environment To "Boys On The Bus"


Have the news media become bored with global warming already? It was one of the top news stories of 2007, thanks in large part to the Nobel-winning labors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and former Vice President Al Gore. But as presidential contenders slogged through the snowy caucuses and primaries in their quest for the White House, the topic barely registered in news coverage of the campaigns. It almost never came up in televised debates.

Publishing Paradox: Environment, A Hot Topic, Addressed In Fewer Books

   The new SEJ book award, along with plans for an increased emphasis on environmental books at this year's SEJ annual conference in Roanoke, VA, are reflections of an increasing interest in environmental book publishing among SEJ members.  Yet trends in the national marketplace of ideas seem paradoxical.

Two environmental books have topped the bestseller list in recent years—Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and Glenn Beck's An Inconvenient Book. (See page 11). That both would rise to the top of the market may seem to be a bit of a paradox.


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