EJ Academy

EJ Academy banner


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 or offer to write future EJ Academy columns, contact EJ Academy Co-Editors Bob Wyss at bobwyss@gmail.com or Emilia Askari at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

February 21, 2024

  • Research, collaboration, human-centered storytelling and the ineluctable element of time — all these were among the facets of a complex, award-winning investigative report run by a team of students at Arizona State University on excessive and harmful natural gas flaring. How the project came together, and the lessons learned, in the new EJ Academy from column co-editor and longtime educator Bob Wyss.

September 6, 2023

  • What brought together two teams of student reporters, half a dozen states and 1,000 miles apart? For one, the high environmental cost of chemical fertilizer. For another, a pair of dedicated journalism teachers. Cynthia Barnett and Sara Shipley Hiles share how they took the project from daydream to reality, brought students into the field and got pickup from numerous news outlets, in the latest EJ Academy.

March 8, 2023

  • Industrial hog farmers tout swine biogas as a clean, green energy source, but others point to its messy side. A young journalist who investigated the underreported stench of environmental racism associated with this technology learned valuable lessons along the way to producing a feature story that won her a Society of Environmental Journalists’ award for outstanding student reporting.

October 19, 2022

  • When it comes to working across boundaries in an academic setting, those who teach journalism may be naturals, tapping as they often can into their experience reporting on those from very different backgrounds and disciplines. EJ Academy’s editor, Bob Wyss, shares his experience with a successful project examining self-driving vehicles and explains why fellow journalism educators may want to give interdisciplinary teaching a try.

May 18, 2022

  • A student op-ed zeroing in on Rome’s trash problem, the role of organized crime and the silencing of Italy’s journalists has won the Society of Environmental Journalists’ first-ever Student Press Freedom Day contest. Our EJ Academy column shares Macy Berendsen’s opinion piece, which asks what the news media there can do to help clean up the Eternal City.

January 26, 2022

  • Cuando los programas de intercambio para estudiantes de periodismo fueron cancelados a causa del COVID 19, el personal docente de dos importantes universidades – una en Estados Unidos y otra en Colombia- recurrió a su creatividad, mediante la construcción de un escenario de intercambio virtual colaborativo sobre asuntos medioambientales de preocupación para ambos países. La EJ Academy explica el funcionamiento de dicho intercambio y augura programas similares en el futuro.

  • When COVID-19 shut down plans for journalism study abroad, faculty at two prominent universities — one in the United States and the other in Colombia — got creative, building out a collaborative virtual exchange focused on environmental concerns in the two countries. The latest EJ Academy explains how the virtual exchange worked, and the promise of similar programs in the future.

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.