The Ultimate List for Environmental "List Journalism"

December 21, 2011

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:

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):

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.

MEDIA LIST BEST, WORST MEDIA

EPA, AGENCIES OFFER STORIES IN LIST FORM