Earth Day at 50: A Case Study in Environmental Reporting
April 22, 2020
The environmental threats to the planet have drastically changed since the first Earth Day in 1970 and so has the reporting about ecological problems and solutions. In 2019, The Associated Press embarked on a series called, “What Can Be Saved” highlighting the challenges and hopes of conservation all around the world. NYU Washington, D.C. and The Associated Press hosted a webinar on environmental reporting now and in the future. Featured journalists includes Seth Borenstein, NYU DC Lecturer; Science Writer, The Associated Press, Federica Narancio, Video Journalist, The Associated Press, Christina Larson, Science & Technology Journalist, The Associated Press, and Ken Ward Jr., Investigative Journalist, ProPublica.
This event was free and open to everyone. Registration was required in order to receive log-in information for the webinar. This webinar may have been recorded.
Seth Borenstein, NYU DC Lecturer; Science Writer, The Associated Press
Seth Borenstein teaches journalism and society at New York University's Washington DC campus. He also is a national science writer for The Associated Press, the world's largest news organization, covering issues ranging from climate change to astronomy. He is the winner of numerous journalism awards, including the National Journalism Award for environment reporting in 2007 from the Scripps Foundation and the Outstanding Beat Reporting award from the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2008 and 2004. He was part of an AP Gulf of Mexico oil spill reporting team that won the 2010 George Polk Award for Environment Reporting and a special merit award as part of the 2011 Grantham environment reporting prizes. He was part of a team of finalists for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Columbia space shuttle disaster. A science and environmental journalist for more than 25 years, covering everything from hurricanes to space shuttle launches, Borenstein has also worked for Knight Ridder Newspapers' Washington Bureau, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. He is the co-author of three out-of-print books, two on hurricanes and one on popular science. He has flown in zero gravity and once tried out for Florida Marlins (unsuccessfully).
Federica Narancio, Video Journalist, The Associated Press
Federica Narancio is an award-winning trilingual video journalist who has reported from Latin America and the United States. She currently covers health, science and environmental stories for The Associated Press based in Washington. She previously reported on protests and political turmoil in Brazil, Paraguay and Venezuela; the 2016 U.S. presidential election; and the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Christina Larson, Science & Technology Journalist, The Associated Press
Christina Larson is an award-winning foreign correspondent and science & technology journalist. She focuses on technology in China and on global environmental issues.
Now Global Science & Environment Correspondent for the Associated Press, she is based in Washington, DC, and reports from the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Previously she lived in Beijing for seven years (2011-2018) as a contributing China correspondent for Science magazine, China technology reporter for Bloomberg, and a freelance magazine writer. She has written about everything from animal intelligence to artificial intelligence — and using science to solve historical mysteries.
Her dispatches have appeared in The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, New York Times, Washington Post, MIT Technology Review, Wired, The Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New Republic, Fast Company, Smithsonian, Yale Environment 360, Slate, California Sunday Magazine, and other publications.
In addition to filing stories from remote and varied corners of mainland China, she has reported from Hong Kong, India, Peru, Mexico, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Mongolia, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, U.K., Greece, Jamaica, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
Prior to moving to Beijing in 2011, Christina was an editor and writer at Foreign Policy magazine in Washington, DC. She has also been a visiting fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University; the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.; the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies; and the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. An avid runner and occasional painter, she is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and holds a B.A. from Stanford University, where she cut her teeth in journalism as the international news editor at the Stanford Daily.
A finalist for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, Christina has been a guest discussing her reporting on the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg TV, NPR, WNYC, and other broadcast programs.
Her profile of Chinese environmentalist Yong Yang was included in the 2012 anthology Chinese Characters, and she was a text editor for the 2014 documentary book Testament: Chris Hondros, a collection of photos and essays by the late war photojournalist.
In 2016, Christina was awarded the Overseas Press Club of America’s Morton Frank Award for “best magazine international business news reporting,” for a Foreign Policy profile of a young Chinese scientist-turned-entrepreneur.
In 2018, she was awarded Honorable Mention for “Excellence in Explanatory Reporting” by the Society of Publishers in Asia, for a Bloomberg series she co-authored on how pollution imperils the food chain in China.
In 2019, she received an “Award for Excellence” from the Society of Publishers in Asia for an AP investigative series exposing and explaining the ethical controversies around the world’s first gene-edited babies — which she co-reported from Shenzhen, China. The series, published in 2018, triggered swift reaction from the Chinese government and influenced policies and debates about gene-editing worldwide.
In 2019, she was also a lead writer for the AP’s “What Can Be Saved?” global environment series. For this in-depth multimedia project, she worked with photographers and video journalists to file reports from snow-capped mountains in western China, threatened rainforests in Peru and Rwanda, Caribbean coral reefs, abandoned coal mines in West Virginia, and golden savannahs in Tanzania.
Ken Ward Jr., Investigative Journalist, ProPublica
Ken Ward Jr. is an investigative journalist whose in-depth coverage of the coal, chemical and natural gas industries in West Virginia is exposing the true economic, social, and health impacts of industrial abuse on Appalachian residents and communities. As a staff writer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail for more than twenty-five years, Ward fearlessly reports on worker safety violations, environmental hazards, and corporate malfeasance of regional coal and chemical companies.
Ken Ward received a B.S. (1990) from West Virginia University. He has been affiliated with the Charleston Gazette-Mail since 1991. He is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists and, in 2017, he was named a member of the newly launched ProPublica Local Reporting Network.