Media on the Move: In the Journalism Storms, These Awards and Achievements Stand Out

October 15, 2009



Even with the turmoil in the news industry, a number of SEJers reported awards, new projects and interesting new professional connections.

Stephanie Hemphill, a reporter and producer with Minnesota Public Radio, said several SEJ members attended an international journalists' conference on climate change in Sweden in May. They were briefed on Sweden's plans as the new president of the European Union, preparations for the Copenhagen climate change summit in December, and related developments in Europe. Joining Stephanie at the meeting were Christy George of Oregon Public Broadcasting, Marley Shebala of Navajo Times, Len Ackland of the School of Journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder, freelance TV correspondent Leslie Dodson, John Fleck of Albuquerque Journal, David Baron of PRI's The World and Mark Schleifstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Cara Ellen Modisett, editor of Blue Ridge Country and a part-time reporter for WVTF public radio in Virginia, has launched a new blog, RidgeLines, which can be read at Blue Ridge

Stephanie Cohen was one of 12 journalists who received a 2009-2010 fellowship from the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media. The fellowship will allow her to look over the next year at how stimulus funding will be used by community colleges to retrain Americans for green jobs and publish her findings in a series of articles for MarketWatch.

The Press Club of New Orleans presented two awards to Times-Picayune environment reporter and SEJ member Mark Schleifstein and fellow staff writer Bob Marshall and graphics editor Dan Swenson for their December 2008 series "Losing Louisiana, " which detailed how rising sea levels fueled by global warming, combined with sinking soils, threaten homes and livelihoods along the state's coastline. The series placed first in the science, health and technology category and also won the Alex Waller Memorial Award, given to the overall best print news entry. The series and graphics are on the Web here.

Christine Heinrichs noted a full summer schedule of appearances in California, including HenCam Party (hmmm, what to wear to a HenCam?), and guest appearances at showings of Mad City Chickens, a film in which she is interviewed. She also teamed up with SEJ colleague Trish Riley for a bookstore appearance at Sustainable Living Night in Morro Bay.

Bill Kovarik, academic representative on SEJ's Board of Directors, was awarded the CanWest Global Media Fellowship and will be in residence this fall at the University of Western Ontario in Canada teaching environmental journalism and doing research into sustainability and the media.

Mark Neuzil's book, The Environment and the Press: From Adventure Writing to Advocacy (Northwestern University Press), is one of three finalists for the Tankard Award, given annually by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication to the best book on journalism/communication. Neuzil is a professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and a regular contributor to MinnPost, an on-line newspaper in Minneapolis.

Judy Fahys is environment writer at The Salt Lake Tribune. Contact her with your news of your latest award, book project or job at

  ** From the quarterly newsletter SEJournal Fall 2009 issue.



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