non-profit journalism

InvestigateWest Copenhagen climate-treaty coverage points up need for independent journalism

Whew! Fifty-one posts -- all but three in just the last two weeks. Dateline Earth readers got to hear from an Arctic tribal elder, an Indian-turned-American nature photographer, Ethiopian political activists, native-rights campaigners from the Amazon and the grassy plains of Ecuador – as well as the European and American officials who dominate this country’s news diet.
rm iwest mugWe stretched. The InvestigateWest team’s coverage of the global climate treaty negotiations that just wrapped up in Copenhagen was a mammoth undertaking for our small start-up news agency – but one that amply demonstrated the need for independent journalism. It was an effort worth every bleary-eyed late-night hour, every marathon Skype session, every up-before-December’s-dawn morning.

It’s unlikely InvestigateWest will be dashing off to a lot of international meetings. We were fortunate in this case to have the assistance of four able young journalists who raised the funds to get themselves to Denmark. Then they went on to deliver journalism that wasn’t available from many – and in a few cases, any – of the thousands of other journalists who covered the talks.

They did this despite being denied access to the conference center where international delegates were meeting until the last day of the two-week conference.  

[caption id="attachment_7653" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="InvestigateWest photographer Christopher Crow is arrested for the second time. He was held for 10 hours.

Gourmet magazine's demise a blow to environmental journalism

Claiming that I subscribed to Gourmet magazine for its environmental reporting would be akin to saying I want to pick up Playboy for the articles. (Note to wife: I don't subscribe to Playboy. But if I did....)

No, let's face it: I started plunking down cash for a monthly copy of the super-glossy mag a couple of decades ago because I was -- and remain -- a foodie. A few minutes perusing Gourmet's faaaabulous images of a summer picnic in Tuscany or a Parisian dinner party inspired me to do something really special in the kitchen.

gourmet-coverBut I have to say that I'd noticed in recent years that Gourmet has been a leader in exploring the environmental consequences of the food we eat.

Once Dateline Earth noted, for example, a fascinating Gourmet piece on the downsides of wheat.

Or take a look at some of the magazine's inquiring journalism regarding genetically modified organisms.

Just the other day, Gourmet Editor Ruth Reichl was on KUOW"s "Weekday" program yakking it up with host Steve Scher about food's carbon footprint and a new movement that seeks to outdo even locavores by minimizing all energy put into food production.