Meet SEJ member Rona Kobell! Rona is the co-founder and president of the Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative, a nonprofit that focuses on storytelling, science and youth engagement, and seeks to help communities tell their own stories about environmental injustices in Baltimore and beyond. Rona is also an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism, where she teaches the school's first environmental journalism course. Since 2004, she has been reporting on the Chesapeake Bay — first at The Baltimore Sun, then at the Chesapeake Bay Journal, and lastly at the Chesapeake Quarterly magazine, where she was the managing editor. Rona has also freelanced for a wide range of publications, including The Washington Post, Slate, Grist, Modern Farmer, the Boston Globe, Yale Environment 360 and The Revelator.
When asked how SEJ has made her job easier, Rona said, "It is invaluable to talk to other journalists who are facing the same challenges you are, whether it is diversifying a newsroom or trying to get editors to bite on stories for which they seem to have no appetite. There is a lot to commiserate about given the state of our industry, but also a lot of bright spots. You can see that in the work of others." Join Rona at SEJ today!
See some of Rona's work:
- "The Paradox of Francis Scott Key: Was He for Or Against Freeing Enslaved Black Citizens?" The Baltimore Banner, June 14, 2022.
- "On the Clean Water Act's 50th Birthday, What Should We Celebrate?" EarthBeat/National Catholic Reporter, June 8, 2022.
- "Trade Restrictions on Oysters Get Shucked," Reason, February 18, 2022.
- "Grading Environmental Justice: How Students Are Leading the Push for Equity in the Chesapeake Bay Report Card," Chesapeake Quarterly, December 2021.
- "Why Reporters Should Catch the Watershed by the Tale," SEJournal, September 30, 2020.
- "For Vulnerable Barrier Islands, A Rush to Rebuild on U.S. Coast," Yale Environment 360, January 15, 2015.
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