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Inc. Issue 5

Inc. Issue 5

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Published by OUSPJ
A publication of the Ohio University Society of Professional Journalists

Meeting
Tuesday, 5:00 SCRIPPS 111

Environmental Journalism

Going Green with Environmental Journalism
OU’s new College Green online magazine to discuss environmental journalism and campus involvement. story Rebecca McKinsey art Dylan Souhrada
l l

The term “College Green” is no longer reserved for the popular hangout area that serves to bridge Ohio University’s campus and upto
A publication of the Ohio University Society of Professional Journalists

Meeting
Tuesday, 5:00 SCRIPPS 111

Environmental Journalism

Going Green with Environmental Journalism
OU’s new College Green online magazine to discuss environmental journalism and campus involvement. story Rebecca McKinsey art Dylan Souhrada
l l

The term “College Green” is no longer reserved for the popular hangout area that serves to bridge Ohio University’s campus and upto

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Published by: OUSPJ on Nov 04, 2009
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01/30/2010

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The term “College Green” is no longer reserved for the popular hangoutarea that serves to bridge Ohio University’s campus and uptown Athens. Now it refers to an environmental, on-campus magazine as well Thenewly created College Green magazine will be coming to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Nov. 3 meeting to discuss a way for students to getinvolved in a publication on campus.College Green discusses environmental issues present at OU andthroughout the surrounding area. According to the magazine’s Web site,its purpose is “to provide a positive learning opportunity for aspiringenvironmental journalists while also instilling a sense of pride in the area’snatural beauty, amenities and assets.”The site discusses the phenomenon that surrounds the physical CollegeGreen – that it is a place where the line between OU students and Athensresidents becomes less prominent – and suggests that the likewise-namedmagazine will “further bridge the gaps among students, residents and theenvironment.”Editor Katherine Bercik, who will be speaking at the meeting, says thetopics she may cover include today’s environmental problems and whatstudents can do to help. “There’s so much that can be shared,” she said.College Green, which continues to seek writers, editors and designers, isstill in its beginning stages. Bercik, who founded the publicationafter a volunteer trip to Australia in 2008, says that despitechallenges that have arisen, she is pleased with themagazine’s progress.“Most of the people on staff aregenuinely interested inworking the green beat. Having a
Meeting
 Tuesday, 5:00SCRIPPS 111
Environmental Journalism
 A publication of the Ohio University 
Society of Professional Journalists
strong interest in what you are doing is key,” she said.Joe Brehm, a graduate student working toward a degree inenvironmental studies, is College Green’s science editor. As soon as heheard about College Green, his interest was piqued.“I knew that this wasn’t just a pipe dream or some project that would be haphazardly thrown together, but something that could really take off and be a great asset for Ohio University,” he said.Brehm, Bercik and the rest of College Green’s staff have becomeacutely aware of environmental problems and issues that exist in theworld today. Bercik listed carbon emissions, climate change and risingwater levels as problems that are prevalent on a global scale, but saidthat College Green looks at issues closer to home.“In Southeast Ohio especially, the dependency on coal as a source of 
energy and for providing jobs is a difcult issue to tackle because there
are social, cultural and economic implications in the mix,” Bercik said.Brehm says one of the most important environmental issues, in hisopinion, is one that often is not considered.“One area I believe to be incredibly important is Native Americanissues,” Brehm said. “Indigenous people have a very long-term senseof place and therefore an amazing amount of wisdom and ecologicalknowledge. Western science and US federal and state agencies are only beginning to recognize the value in partnering with Native Americantribes, and I believe such partnerships will be a key in the maturation of the U.S.’s land ethic.”Although the threats facing the environment can seem intimidating,Bercik and Brehm believe there is much students can do to help. Bercik suggested that student journalists, especially, should take the time andeffort to investigate environmental stories in-depth rather than relyingon brief blurbs. She said, students can “educate themselves about it andmake small changes to their consumption and living habits over time.”
Educating people about the environment is a difcult job, Brehm
added, and students with an interest in the topic and a journalism background have an especially vital task.
“Conveying scientic research and issues such as climate change,
conservation biology, renewable energy, and environmental justice
to people is a very difcult and incredibly important job,” Brehm
said. “Journalists who do this in an accurate and interesting way canessentially improve the land ethic and environmental knowledge of their readers.”All these issues and more will be covered at the SPJ meeting.Bercik says she is excited to talk to an audience comprised of mainly journalism students and hopes she will garner some interest.“If just one more person decides to use their communication andwriting skills to bring more awareness to environmental issues,” shesaid, “then I would consider the night a success.”
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Going Green with Environmental Journalism
OU’s new College Green online magazine to discuss environmental journalism and campus involvement.
 story 
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Rebecca McKinsey  art 
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Dylan Souhrada
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25.2%2.73 mm
each year that the sea levelat New York rises.
Fahrenheit the world’s temperature has gone upin the last century.of the world’s carbon emissions comefrom the United States.
Page 2: Global ReportingPage 3: How to: Pitch a Story
Inside Inc.
Page 4: Internship UpdatesPage 5: Sports JournalismPage 6: From the Editor
*World Resources Institute Web site
 
 story 
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Sarah Grothjan photo
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courtesy of Glenn Baker, “Easy Like Water” 
 
In the developing country of Bangladesh, problematic climatechange is greatly affecting the social situation of the Bengali people.A rising sea level has unleashed destruction upon homes and otherstructures, wreaking havoc and creating a surplus of refugees. News anddocumentary producer Steve Sapienza hopes to move towards a solutionwith his production “Easy Like Water” hoping in the short term to “[havethe production] broadcast somewhere in the US by early summer or latefall of next year”.Sapienza came to Ohio University’s Scripps Hall on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.to give an overview of his new project “Easy Like Water”, a title coinedby Director Glenn Baker, which according to Sapienza is the Bengaliequivalent of the American phrase “piece of cake”. The issue pertinentto Sapienza’s production is the rising sea level in Bangladesh due to theemission of green house gases that factor into climate change.Sapienza traveled to Bangladesh on a three-week trip, receiving fundsfor his research from both the Sundance Film Institute Skoll Stories of Change Project and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He alsoreceived travel support from Qatar Airways.“Easy Like Water” depicts an innovative approach to dealing with theunwanted changes. Architect MuhammadRezwan of Bangladesh developed the
solution of oating, solar powered
schools, libraries, and shelters. The boatsare largely made out of steel hulls, woodand bamboo allowing them to circulate air,though they remain quite hot.According to Sapienza, Rezwan has
produced a eet of about 88, which also
includes the number of boats currentlyunder construction. With this projectunderway, Rezwan is continuallydeveloping new ideas. According toSapienza, he has moved on to the creation
of oating gardens. Rezwan is also trying
to create shelter boats for refugees as botha place of safety as well as a place to cookand access clean water.With the production of solar-poweredsystems working smoothly, the nextproblem deals with the matter of locatingfunding for Rezwan’s mission. In regardsto the chances of Rezwan receiving suchfunding, Sapienza remarks, “He hasfunding, he is doing okay.” Accordingto him, Rezwan has past awards for his innovative work, which hasincreased his chances of receiving funding, and has given him the chanceto fund the project himself if no money comes his way.Sapienza’s production is geared toward raising awareness of Rezwan’smission. Regarding the global impact of climate change, Sapienza said,“I don’t think I really understood how many people could really beaffected by climate change. Anytime there are cyclones or storms or
ooding it can have an impact and could displace thousands of people.”
Professor Yusuf Kalyango, director of OU’s Institute for InternationalJournalism, is partially to credit for the visit from Sapienza. With theconsensus of various other faculty members, Sapienza was chosen tospeak at OU to display his work as a journalist.“One of the reasons I selected Sapienza is his unique way of  journalism. He reports on world issues that are not usually coveredin strict media,” Kalyango said. He remarked that he works towardpreparing journalism students for “a world in which they have togenerate ideas, ideas that they have to use on their own and to beindependent.” He said, “I try to design a model through whicheverything they learn through the institute helps them be independentthinkers and job creators.”One of Kalyango’s most unique pointsstems from the idea of job creation. Hebelieves self-employment is a crucial goalin journalism. In his own experience he hasbeen a reporter in both radio and television,always employed by someone else.Regarding his job experience, ProfessorKalyango says, “I’ve not done stuff on myown the way Steve Sapienza has done. Ithink that is the future of journalism.”Another point Kalyango makes is that thework of Sapienza can serve as an inspirationto aspiring journalists. “What makes [him]a good model for students here is you don’thave a boss that determines whether yourstory is good enough or not.”It is advisable for journalism students topocket a point or two from the wisdom of Kalyango and strive for their own self-employment in the media industry. Whetherfollowing in the footsteps of an award-winning producer, or simply becoming a“job creator”, journalism students have aworld of options to explore.
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Documentary producer Steve Sapienza gives a presentation about “Easy Like Water,” his upcoming lm about
 the rising sea level and other environmental issues in Bangladesh.
 
 A publication of the Ohio University 
Society of Professional Journalists
Sapienza Speaks At Scripps About Production
SCRIPPS
NEWS
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COMMENTARY
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How To: Pitch a Story Idea
Being creative, checking for conicts most important part of process, no matter the medium.
 story 
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Kaitrin McCoy 
Good news stories are hard to write; nding them can be even moredifcult. Knowing how to pitch a news story is important for all se
-quences of journalism, whether it’s for a column in a newspaper or theheadline of a news show. While each medium has its own unique needs,there are a few simple tips that can help any journalist when pitching astory.It’s important to do your research on a story idea before approach-ing the editor. “The more information you can give about your idea, the better. They get a better semblance for what you want to write,” saidAdam Wagner, a sophomore studying journalism in the Honors TutorialCollege.It is much harder to accept a pitched story if no one understands its
 premise. For stories that require signicant background information, likelm documentaries or magazine features, the need for detailed research
is even greater. Wagner advises that “[you] should give sources andcontact information, questions you want to ask, what angle you’ll takeand the general direction that you’re headed for your story.” If you doyour homework before pitching your idea, the editor will see that you’re prepared to go forward.
If you have trouble coming up with an idea in the rst place, youshould remember one simple rule: Conict sells. Especially when youmake the conict localized and consequential to your readers. For Athens
 News editor Terry Smith, this is a golden rule.“On our Web site, one-dimensional stories don’t get hits, and storiesinvolving sex, drugs or trouble get the most. The ideal story has lots of 
conict with signicant consequence for the people of Athens County,”
Smith said.Just take a look at any newspaper. The “big stories” are ones involving prominent people in society, local community leaders and human-interestcases.“A good strategy is to take something much bigger, more mainstream,and localize it,” Wagner said.Finding sources, the next part in the process, can sometimes be the
most troublesome. “It’s important to nd sources that make sense lo
-
cally,” Wagner said. But even nding local people to talk to are easier 
said than done. You have to remember to keep your eyes and ears open atall times and to take advantage of the social networking possibilities thattechnology has given us.“If you have a reputation for being receptive for stories, the peoplewill come to you. And one way to do this is to constantly check up andcheck base with people. Watch Facebook, for instance,” Smith said.Keep in contact with your past sources, because they might know some-one for your next story.
A nal word from Terry Smith: “A news tip may seem bogus, but it’s
important to give it a chance and look into it. Sometimes the best storycome from a crazy call you get out of nowhere.”
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Steve Sapienza works on his documentary, “Easy Like Water” in Bangladesh. Photo by Glenn Baker.

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