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EJ Gertz
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The Missoula conference kicked off last Wednesday with great performances by Montana Indian singers and drummers. I kicked myself for leaving my professional-quality recorder and microphone at home. But using what I had on hand -- an iPod Touch with a standard "Voice Memo" application, and the inline mic on my headphones -- I got this suprisingly decent recording of the final Round Dance performed by Mike Kenmille and the Chief Cliff Singers, of the Kootenai Tribe on the Flathead Indian Reservation: RoundDanceSEJ For sure, the audio quality isn't up to public radio standards. That said, good thing I didn't... Continue reading
I have especially fond memories of SEJ 2006 in Burlington, Vermont. In part this is because I was one of the lucky Environmental Journalism Boot Campers that year, but also, there was a magically never-empty bowl of Champlain Chocolates out in the exhibitor's area all week. In Missoula, though, I'll embark on several personal firsts. First time in Montana. first time running for the SEJ board, and first time speaking on an SEJ panel: I'll be subbing in for my colleague Ben Jervey on Friday's "Working with Citizen Journalists and Community Contributors." In addition to being a journalist for... Continue reading
Participants in the Wednesday video workshop will also be getting some support in posting their work to this blog. So keep an eye out for more mixed media here, next week.
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Seals are among the most interesting marine mammals, to me at any rate, precisely because they live at that boundary of being a land creature and a sea creature.
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Welcome, Axita. Glad you're coming to the SEJ conference. Biodegradation of hydrocarbons in sandy beaches is a pretty hot topic right now, I'd say.
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Robert's posted another conference update at Grist, this time recounting Friday afternoon's session "on global warming as a national security issue." It was "an even darker affair than usual," says Robert -- an impressive accomplishment for the average SEJ annual confab, where confronting semi-apocalyptic facts about the breakdown of nature and society is something of a tradition: Leading off was retired Navy Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, who's involved with a group of former generals and admirals known as the CNA Military Advisory Board: "What we're saying very clearly and very directly is 'This is a national security problem. ... Make... Continue reading
Over at Columbia Journalism Review, Curtis Brainard offers his take on Friday's theatrics by filmmaker Philim McAleer. The SEJ member's attempt to hog the mic at Al Gore's keynote speech, and his spin on the incident afterwards, demonstrate his healthy degree of self-interest, as well as skill with slicing and dicing the facts to suit his ends: Conservative blogs are already trying to cast the event as proof that environmental journalists are nothing but "homers" and treehuggers who won't challenge their sources or report critically on environmental issues. Those assessments are shortsighted and wrong. (Full disclosure: I'm a member of... Continue reading
On his own blog Cover the Planet, SEJ member Dave Poulson wonders if "success in environmental journalism [can] be measured by the absence of environmental reporting awards" for unearthing fraud, or simple waste, after a project's budget has been spent. "A nice plaque for unearthing a fiasco may be a sign of quality journalism. But where’s the plaque for doing the reporting that kept a disaster from happening? Is that not also watchdog journalism in the public interest?" The Obama Administration has proposed nearly a half billion dollars this year as a downpayment on what could be a multi-year, multi-billion... Continue reading
Credit: Emily Gertz Saturday is a great day to come up for air during the conference, since the Saturday farmers market is just one block away, ringing the Capitol Square. More photos at my Flickr feed: More of emilyg's stuff tagged with sej2009 Continue reading
One SEJ member has eschewed a digital camera to record 2009 conference moments, in favor of a small Moleskine notebook and colored pencils. Francesca Lyman put her leads to good work yesterday, capturing former Vice President Al Gore, White House staffer Nancy Sutley, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, and the other guests (including moderator Andrew Revkin) at the Friday morning plenary, in these wonderful sketches. Former Vice President Al Gore See Tim Wheeler's post about "the brief 'town hall' moment during the Q&A." Jane Lubchenco, Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration James Rogers, Chairman,... Continue reading
Whooping cranes, at the International Crane Foundation. Credit: Emily Gertz Despite the early hour, there's a very good turnout this morning (a couple hundred at least) for the morning plenary on "Non-Profit News: A sustainable survival strategy for environmental journalism" -- as moderator Dan Fagin suggested in his opening remarks, a testament to the troubled state of journalism as a business. The plenary is underway, with panelists Rob Walker, environmental writer at Voice of San Diego (and newly elected SEJ board member); Melinda Wittstock, founder and executive director of Capitol News Connection; Nick Penniman, executive director of Huffington Post Investigative... Continue reading
Over at Grist, SEJ member (and founder of InvestigateWest) Robert McClure has some insightful reporting on this morning's plenary session with NOAA head Jane Lubchenko, Duke Energy CEO James Rogers, and others. "MADISON, Wisc.--President Obama's lieutenants put on their game faces as they fielded journalists' questions Friday, but there was a palpable sense that they know the game is already over going into the global talks on climate change in December... Just listen to Nancy Sutley, head of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality: "I'm optimistic we'll know what we need to do when we leave Copenhagen." Jim Rogers,... Continue reading
How can you use online video in your reporting? Here's an example: a video report filed from the conference by Geoffrey Dabelko, a speaker on today's 'climate and national security' panel, for the Environmental Change & Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Continue reading
Update: has a write-up of former Vice President Al Gore's speech; audio of his speech; and audio of the question and answer session. Other coverage: Gore, speaking in Madison, congratulates Obama (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Gore says climate change at 'political tipping point' (Wisconsin State Journal) Al Gore Delivers Speech to Science Journalists in Madison (WISC Madison) ---- If you're not here at the SEJ 2009 annual conference to hear Al Gore and the other speakers in this morning's plenary, follow along with those of us live-tweeting the speeches. The twitter tag is #SEJ; there's a link at the top... Continue reading
In case my fellow journalists and SEJ conference attendees also woke up and wondered if a huge hoax was in progress: Yes, it's true. President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons...Thanks to Obama’s initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened." Apparently a spasm of horror is... Continue reading
Every spot was filled for today's "Introduction to Video" workshop. Even though we had a full day of instruction, it was barely enough time to whet our appetites for composing shots, thinking through visual narrative, recording ambient audio, finessing lighting, and getting interviews around campus with top-of-the-line Canon hard drive mini-videocams. And after all that ... we sat down to learn the basics of turning our raw footage into a reported story, using Final Cut Pro. Here are a few pictures of the group engrossed in editing video at the University of Wisconsin's fine digital media lab: Bill shooting video... Continue reading