One of the latest trends, as journalism and publishing turn increasingly to online media, is "list journalism." We know it when we see it — without too much basis beyond personal opinion, a publication will ballyhoo the Top Ten of something. We have long suspected that the only reason we viewers are forced to click through 10 pages to see all 10 items on the list is to pump up the page views in somebody's web analytics. And we are not alone:
- "News Organizations, Bloggers Turn to 'List Journalism' To Drive Web Traffic," E-Media Tidbits, Poynter Institute, August 24, 2009, by David Johnson.
The environment/energy beat may well be the Saudi Arabia of list journalism. Or perhaps the Venezuela... or the Nigeria. No matter. This year, as 2011 seeps to an uncertain and messy conclusion, is surely the time to take note. So we have unscientifically come up with the Top Eight Sites For Environmental List Journalism.
TIPSHEET LIST OF TOP 8 SITES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LIST JOURNALISM
8. ECOSALON: Environmental fashion, food, and sex — What's not to like? Who else would have a list of their "Top 10 Vegan and Sustainable Eco Holiday Party Shoes."
7. ECOSTILLETO: This green-marketing site aims its health, beauty, fashion, ecoceleb, and "veganista" content at female users. It proudly presents "The Big List of Things That Suck" (TBLTTS).
6. WEBECOIST: This website, held by online specialist Evolve Media, serves green marketing to the green consumer. Today we find "45 Recycled Works of Art" and "World's 20 Weirdest Endangered Species."
5 HUFFINGTON POST GREEN: HuffPo has been riding the list story (and other online publishing gimmicks) to the very top of the Page-view Pantheon. Its Green section is no exception.
4. MOTHER NATURE NETWORK, or MNN to its intimates: This ad-based 2008 startup will currently inform you about the Top Tech Stories of 2011.
3.DAILY GREEN: This green-consumer site from the good folks at Good Housekeeping (and ultimately Hearst) simply follows a template that has long guided the consumer mags in the supermarket check-out aisles. Nine holiday shopping tips? Of course!
2. TREEHUGGER: There are probably 10 reasons this Discovery Communications outlet could not get enough of the list story in 2011. We did like: "2011: The Year in Pee and Poop."
1. GRIST: Hard not to give top honor to the originator of the "Grist List," along with many other list-features.
LIST OF SOME TOP ENVIRONMENTAL LIST STORIES: 2011 ETC.
Because even news providers like to take vacations at the end of the year, they often produce year-in-review or year-ahead list stories for publication while they are away. We applaud this ancient tradition before taking some time off. Here's a list (not all from 2011):
- Oregon Public Broadcasting: "The Top Environmental Stories of 2011."
- Reuters: "Top Environmental Photos of 2011."
- The Hill: "The Hill's Top 10 Energy Stories of 2011."
- Burlington Free Press: "Vermont Law School's Top 10 Environmental Issues To Watch."
- Center for American Progress: "Fish on Fridays: The Top 5 Fish Stories of 2011."
- Los Angeles Times: "Year in Review: Congress' 10 Biggest Enemies of the Earth."
- CNN: "Top 10 Environmental Moments of the Decade."
- TIME: "Top 10 Environmental Disasters."
- Siel Ju/MNN: "The 10 Top Environmental Stories We Hope To See in 2011."
- OnEarth: "What Are the Top Under-Reported Environmental Stories of 2010?"
- "Indian Country Today Media Networks' Top 10 Stories of 2011" (Indian Country Today).
- Aiken Standard: "What Are Our Top 10 Environmental Problems?"
- Daily Green: "9 US Presidents with the Worst Environmental Records."
- SPX: "15 New Conservation Concerns."
- PlanetSave: "Top Environmental Stories of the Year (2010), Other Than BP Oil Spill."
- greentechmedia: "Dear Santa: The Wind Industry Christmas Wish List."
- The Street: "Energy Stocks: Winners and Losers."
- The Guardian: "Cancer Causes List."
- Associated Press: "List of Power Plants Retiring and at Risk Because of 2 EPA Air Pollution Rules."
ENVIRO GROUPS LOVE YEARLY LISTS
Environmental groups discovered decades ago that shame-lists were powerful. Corporations will do almost anything to stay off of these lists, or at least off the top of them. Hero lists are also popular. For some environmental groups, these lists are their major connection with a general public.
- League of Conservation Voters: Scorecard.
- American Rivers: "America's Most Endangered Rivers."
- Southern Environmental Law Center: "Top Ten Endangered Places 2011."
- Environmental Working Group: "Dirty Dozen/Clean 15 Foods."
MEDIA LIST BEST, WORST MEDIA
- Society of Environmental Journalists: "Winners: SEJ 10th Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment."
- ReadWriteWeb: "Top 35 Environmental Blogs" (2007).
- Environmental Graffiti: "Top 10 Environmental Blogs."
- OnEarth: "#Greenreads: The Best Environmental Journalism of 2011."
- Criminal Justice USA: "50 Best Blogs About Environmental Law" (2009).
- Salon: "Welcome to the 2011 Salon Hack List."
EPA, AGENCIES OFFER STORIES IN LIST FORM
- US Environmental Protection Agency Most-Wanted Fugitive List.
- American Lung Association Worst/Best Cities For Air Pollution (uses EPA data).
- Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).
- US Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species List.
- EPA List of Lists Database Homepage (collects/compares lists of dangerous chemicals).