chapter  5
22 Pages

Covering the Environment 1

ByDavid B. Sachsman, James Simon, JoAnn Myer Valenti

This chapter examines whether environment reporters felt journalists "generally have overblown environmental risks, unduly alarming the public. It looks at the various story angles or frameworks used by environment reporters and rank ordered them based on how often reporters said they used each. Local environmental groups and local individuals active on the environment were very popular sources. Environmental stories are great for that because it is about the environment—it affects everybody. Sometimes environmental stories deal only with the environment. Sometimes they also deal with other issues. Environment reporters have been criticized for sometimes mishandling risk and unduly frightening their readers or viewers. The nature of the medium also may influence how environmental stories are covered by reporters. Environment reporters are forced to constantly evaluate scientific studies, decide on their worthiness, and then decide whether to present conflicting results from other studies.