How to Create Buzz in Environmental Reporting: The Best Practices for Effective and Captivating Storytelling
Journalism is one of the most far-reaching mediums to inform the public about environmental and sustainability issues. Mass communication has brought this discussion to an unprecedented level of exposure that continues to escalate, and the quality of storytelling must continue to spark discussion about sustainability and environmental problems. The quality of environmental journalism, the “researching, verifying, writing, producing and broadcasting of news about the environment” to and for the public sphere, has been a subject of much debate (Pezzullo & Cox, 2012). This beat, relatively new, is an emerging one that serves the public by explaining the importance of protecting and preserving the environment. However, sometimes journalists’ work falls on deaf ears. In order for environmental journalists to be effective storytellers with robust, reliable work that resonates with audiences, they must continue to improve the effectiveness and captivating qualities of their work.
This project will explore how the American public perceives environmental reporting, constraints on its production, an assessment of the industry’s success and growth, and advice from current journalists. I will conclude with a list of the best practices for captivating and effective storytelling. Finally, I will close with a reflection based upon my creative project, a multimedia piece on how citrus crops in Arizona are affected by honey bees. I aim to provide student journalists with an informal guide to the key skills that will help them excel not only in reporting on a certain sustainability topic, but also on the environment as a whole.