Becoming a leader in environmental journalism

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My goal in studying journalism and pursuing a journalism career has always centered on the question: how can I make the most impact? For me, the answer seems to be to focus on something that combines my skills with my passions.

My passions lie in making the world a better place. In my opinion, we have to protect the planet because, in the words of documentary filmmaker Rob Stewart, “Conservation is the preservation of human life on earth.” The environment is something I deeply care about, and it is what I would like to focus on as a journalist. Beyond that, there is a great need for environmental journalists nowadays, especially ones that are well informed and accurate.

My skills have become very clear to me in my years at the Cronkite School. I am a very technologically savvy person. My creativity is present in execution, rather than ideation. I have honed my skills in videography, video editing, graphic design, web design and photography. I enjoy all of these things fairly equally, so it seems to be logical to combine them. I have therefore decided on pursuing a career of investigative reporting for the web, striving toward creating visually stunning projects such as the New York Times’ “Snowfall” or the Seattle Times’ “Sea Change”. I look to these projects as examples for what I would like to do in the future, but specifically focused on the environment.

I have found in researching this topic more thoroughly that there is a conflict between reporting solely information and inappropriate advocacy. To become a leader in environmental journalism I think the best way to make impact is by finding a middle ground between the two. It is the middle ground that will allow for enough information to make an accurate point and enough declaration to make a clear point. It is the middle ground where I’ll be able to make the most impact.

To me, accuracy is the most important thing in, not just environmental, but all kinds of journalism. Maintaining accuracy is something to have in our minds as we strive to become better leaders in our fields.

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