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The need for environmental journalism: What are funders supporting?

When: 
Thursday, July 25, 2019 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm EDT
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Environmental journalism today is more important than ever before.  With climate change, extreme weather, heat waves and melting glaciers causing seas to rise, the great pacific garbage patch weighing an estimated 80,000 tons and growing by the minute, threats to public health from lead poisoning and air pollution, and tragic trends in species extinction and biodiversity loss, we need journalists to investigate these increasingly urgent issues. They are an integral part of not only informing the public, but also translating the scientific research so we better understand what’s happening to our planet. 

In last year’s Shorenstein Center report Funding the News: Foundations and Nonprofit Media, we learned that substantial foundation support is devoted to specific areas of coverage that reflect philanthropic program concerns, including education, public health, racial justice and religion, to name a few. By far, the largest single category is for support of environmental reporting, at just more than half of all dedicated funding.

This month’s journalism webinar marks the second in a series exploring innovative ways to fund reporting on science, health and the environment.  This time, we’ll take a look at the field of environmental reporting and hear about successful partnerships and scalable models.  

We’ll hear from: 

Diane Ives, Fund Advisor at the Kendeda Fund, a long-standing funder of environmental journalism, who will share details about their support for various environmental reporting outlets. 

Justin Kenney, communications consultant for the environment at the Walton Family Foundation will discuss its support for environmental journalism, including reporter trainings, a coastal desk at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and the recently announced Water Desk at the University of Colorado, Boulder. 

Brady Piñero Walkinshaw and Andrew Simon of Grist will talk about their involvement in collaborative efforts in environmental reporting, including creative content partnerships and a new initiative around diversity and environmental media. 

Philip Johnson, Environment and Health Program Director for The Heinz Endowments, will discuss support for Environmental Health News and other environmental journalism initiatives funded by the endowments.

Kaitlin Yarnall Chief Storytelling Officer and Senior Vice President at National Geographic will moderate.  She’ll also describe National Geographic's collaborative environmental reporting partnership with Lenfest Institute and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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