The Society of Environmental Journalists objects to recent decisions at the New York Times that signal a waning commitment to leadership on environmental coverage. We find it spectacularly shortsighted for media companies to cut staff positions and space for environmental journalism at such a pivotal time for public understanding of serious environmental issues.
It makes little sense to move reporters who have solid expertise in covering controversial, complex, science-based stories off the beat. Such changes cannot have a positive outcome for coverage of stories that are important to public health and the future sustainability of communities, economies and ecosystems.
Some Coverage of the Erosion of the Environmental Beat
The New York Times announced at 5:00 pm ET on Friday, March 1, 2013, that it was ceasing publication of its Green blog on environment and energy. "A Blog's Adieu," New York Times, March 1, 2013, by "The New York Times."
Andrew C. Revkin, whose Dot Earth blog is still distributed by the New York Times, has aggregated the Twitter streams of Green contributors into a Twitter list, to which you can subscribe here.
"A Farewell to Green," Dot Earth (New York Times), March 2, 2013, by Andrew C. Revkin.
"For Times Environmental Reporting, Intentions May Be Good but the Signs Are Not," Public Editor's Journal (New York Times), March 5, 2013, by Margaret Sullivan (Public Editor).
"NYT Cancels Green Blog -- No Explanation From Editors Following Surprise Announcement," Columbia Journalism Review, March 1, 2013, by Curtis Brainard.
"NY Times Cancels Green Blog," Knight Science Journalism Tracker, March 4, 2013, by Paul Raeburn.
"New York Times Kills Its 'Green' Blog," Grist, March 1, 2013, by Lisa Hymas.
"The Times Kills Its Environmental Blog To Focus on Horse Racing and Awards Shows," Slate (owned by Washington Post), March 4, 2013, by Will Oremus.
"New York Times Turns Out the Lights at Its Green Blog," MSN Money, March 4, 2013, by Bruce Kennedy.
"New York Times Spikes the Green Blog," TreeHugger, March 1, 2013, by Lloyd Alter.
"'The New York Times' Shutters Its Green Blog, and Environmentalists Everywhere Weep," TakePart, March 4, 2013, by Salvatore Cardoni.
"Goodbye Green: The State of Environmental Coverage," Oh, for the Love of Science! blog, March 4, 2013, by Allie Wilkinson.
"How Closing New York Times' Green Blog Will Hurt Environmental Coverage," Media Matters, March 4, 2013, by Jill Fitzsimmons.
"The New York Times Disbands Its Green Blog," Inhabitat New York City, March 5, 2013, by Sherrell Dorsey.
"NYT, WaPo Cut Back Environment Coverage, Since We’Re Not Worried About That Anymore," Grist, March 5, 2013, by Greg Hanscom.
"In Epic Blunder, NY Times And Washington Post All But Abandon Specialized Climate Science Coverage," Climate Progress, March 4, 2013, by Joe Romm.
"'NYT' Axes 'Green' Blog, After Dropping Environment Unit," The Nation, March 6, 2013, by Greg Mitchell.
It was announced March 4, 2013, that Juliet Eilperin, the Washington Post's environment reporter, would be moving from the environment beat to cover the White House for the Post's new online political "strike force." Some on the Twittersphere had interpreted the loss of a top reporter as a loss for the environment beat. But Eilperin herself tweeted that she would be holding President Obama to his promises on climate, environment, and energy from her new post. She says the Post will replace her on the beat.
"WaPo Announces an 'Online Strike Force,' Staff Changes," Politico, March 4, 2013, by Dylan Byers
"Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin To Cover White House Amid Politics Desk Changes," Huffington Post, March 4, 2013, by Michael Calderone.
"WaPo’s Eilperin to White House Beat," MediaBistro, March 4, 2013, by Betsy Rothstein.
Twitterstream of Juliet Eilperin, where she provides ample explanation.
"Eilperin Leaving the Green Beat," The Observatory blog (Columbia Journalism Review), March 4, 2013, by Curtis Brainard and Cristine Russell.