EJ Academy

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EJ Academy is a quarterly SEJournal Online column for environmental journalism educators and students to explore current research on environmental journalism, best practices or models for teaching and insights into the state of EJ education today. For questions and comments, or to suggest future EJ Academy columns, email the SEJournal Online EJ Academy editor Bob Wyss at bobwyss@gmail.com.


May 26, 2021

  • An unusual student journalist, moonlighting in between his Ph.D. training as a clinical psychologist, turned an interest in the ways nature can heal into an award-winning story for a prominent magazine, and in the process helped prompt skyrocketing interest among mainstream physicians in “prescribing nature.” Aaron Reuben shares his experience in the new EJ Academy.

March 3, 2021

  • An initiate to the ways of teaching collegiate journalism winds her way through unique obstacles of a first term under COVID-19, from students reporting in masks to class sessions on computer screens. Not to mention the already onerous challenges of training young journalists to report and write a range of environmental stories. EJ Academy has her story, from the stumbles to the successes.

December 9, 2020

  • A graduate field scientist-cum-multimedia storyteller trains her eye on the confounding challenges of western water, with award-winning student reporting on three family farms that face the draining of critical groundwater basins. Could land that drought makes untenable for farming be restored as habitat for endangered species? That, plus how the “ladder of abstraction” helped her tell the tale. The most recent entry in EJ Academy.

September 9, 2020

  • In these downside-up days of contagion, climate disasters and social convulsions, being a journalism educator presents some seriously serious challenges. But in this EJ Academy back-to-school guide, pedagogical pilot Bernardo Motta offers seven tips to manage the mess. Among the advice: You are not an island. And everything will fail … and that’s a good thing.

April 15, 2020

  • Can “phoning it in” actually be sound advice for journalists? It can — in the current coronavirus crisis — writes Cynthia Barnett, environmental journalist-in-residence at the University of Florida. In a special EJ Academy, she looks at how to teach young reporters to gather immersive reporting from afar.

March 25, 2020

  • “Scared to cautiously optimistic” is how journalism educators are responding to the rapid ramp-up to remote learning in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, per the latest EJ Academy. Choosing between teaching live or “on tape,” whether to stick with existing curricula halfway through the term or tear it up to cover the contagion, and staying connected to students.

January 15, 2020

September 25, 2019

  • Can consumption in the classroom become a reporting exercise for budding journalists? Our quarterly EJ Academy column explores how collegiate educators can handle sustainability questions. Should students be discouraged from using plastic water bottles? And should faculty use electronic handouts and texts instead of paper copies? Top instructors weigh in.

May 29, 2019

  • Not only is the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual gathering a great way for student journalists to get propelled into the profession, argues our most recent EJ Academy column. It’s also how SEJ itself can invest in its future. The case for creative ways to bring newbies to the next conference.