Journalism & Media
By WILLIAM DIETRICH
We're midway through an academic quarter at Western Washington University's Planet magazine, and it's time for second-draft panic.
The spring of 2009 is our student environmental magazine's 30th Anniversary, and we've got stories with no point, stories with gaping holes, stories that ignore AP style, stories with no lead, stories that stop instead of end, stories with no pictures, and pictures with no stories.
The Association of Health Care Journalists and other journalism groups have co-signed a letter to the Food and Drug Administration's Transparency Task Force, calling for FDA to "end these harmful practices and restore the free flow of information."
Attorney and journalist Michael Ravnitzky offers a strategy for accessing unpublished reports: direct a public records request to agencies of interest for all reports not posted on the agency's website, within a specific time frame and not limited by topic.
Persistence pays off for Greenwire reporter Darren Samuelsohn who filed his first Freedom of Information Act request for it back in July 2008, re-filed it in January 2009 at the start of the Obama administration, and finally received it October 13, 2009.
"Columbia University’s dual masters program in environmental journalism has been suspended, according to the school’s Web site ...." The reason: "the current weakness in the job market for environmental journalists,"
"Fox Cable Networks and the National Geographic Channel announced Thursday that they would start a new program service that would focus on natural history and wildlife."
"A new documentary film sets out to show how mining for coal affects the people who live in Coal Country."
An online compendium of key source documents behind all the big stories seems on its way for future reference from ProPublica, thanks to a Knight News Challenge $719,500 grant.
A federal law protecting reporters who maintain the confidentiality of their sources is currently stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee as Obama breaks campaign promise.