Three Tips to Environmental Reporting

By Brandon Bounds

The beautiful thing about journalism is all the stories a reporter can explore. Stories on politics and social inequality tend to gain more traction than others and flood social media. However, stories on climate change and the environment don’t tend to get a lot of attention.

There are so many issues to explore, especially from an investigative reporting standpoint. Water quality, super funds, pipelines are just a few things journalists can look into.

Before a reporter can jump into this topic, there’s at least three things to keep in mind.

1.) Study. Study. Study.

You have to have some sort of an idea of what you’re looking to. There are federal and state regulations as to why things are the way they are. You may have to do additional research on the issue you’re looking into. You may even have to speak to an expert on environmental issues. Be sure to understand the topic and it will help build and craft your story.

2.) Look for Data. It’s there somewhere.

Data journalism has become extremely popular over the years and helps give stories an edge to their reporting. Research data sets, whether you’re looking into super funds or air quality. If there isn’t any data, create your own by surveying and sampling. Data helps back up your reporting and can be visually appealing and interactive for your audience.

3.) Talk to the public

What is the public saying or doing about these issues? The community is an important voice, no matter what kind of story you’re reporting on. Their voices matter and could potentially highlight more problems or possible solutions you may not know about.

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