2017 more like ‘1984’ than 1984

Survey details collision in classrooms between literature and reality

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

Lynn Neary with National Public Radio said George Orwell’s 1949 novel, 1984, again topped the Amazon bestseller list and had become, in her words, something of a political barometer.

Neary reported, “A spokesman for Signet Classics, which currently publishes 1984, said sales have increased almost 10,000 percent since the inauguration and moved noticeably upwards on Sunday. That’s when Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway appeared on Meet The Press. When host Chuck Todd challenged the Trump administration’s assertions about the size of the Inauguration Day crowd, Conway responded with a phrase that caught everyone’s attention.”

“Alternative facts,” Conway said.

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, tells Chuck Todd that the Press Secretary used ‘alternative facts’ in his first statement to the Press Corps.

Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty on CNN’s Reliable Sources said the phrase reminded her of phrases from Orwell’s classic: doublethink, ignorance is strength, war is peace, freedom is slavery. Continue reading 2017 more like ‘1984’ than 1984

Diversity includes recruiting and retaining a diverse staff

Covering stories of interest, relevance to diverse readers, viewers builds an audience

Including multiple voices on college and professional media staffs and the stories they cover should be part of a commitment to diversity.

As college media look to increase diversity in their staffs and cover diverse stories with accuracy and balance,

look to Readings and Resources page on the CMA Diversity Summit website and www.diversitystyleguide.com, edited by Rachele Kanigel, immediate past president of the College Media Association.

The style guide website notes it is a project of the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, based at the Journalism Department at San Francisco State University, and says, in part: “The center’s mission is to make journalism more inclusive from the classroom to the newsroom. An earlier version of The Diversity Style Guide was produced in the 1990s by CIIJ’s News Watch Program with help from many journalism organizations.”

The website includes the updated Diversity Style Guide, as well as several others:

From CMR Editor

Maintaining a science writing program

Forest of barren trees. (Public Domain, Creative Commons)

Environmental journalism training ebbs and flows with political fortunes

By Carol Terrracina Hartman
CMR Co-Managing Editor

A professional myth pervades the field of environmental journalism, but likely has some basis in fact: when a Democrat holds the White House, the jobs for environmental journalists evaporate: here come the pink slips. But when a Republican has the White House, it’s major job creation: every media outlet staffs up on environmental and science writers.

The unspoken perception is that the environment is a partisan issue and therefore safe to ignore at certain times, thus requiring less reporting. What that says for journalists, is that it becomes harder to report and publish on environmental issues because editors and media outlets perceive that the environment is “safe”: a crisis can’t occur.

Ethical issues aside, where does that leave undergraduate science writing programs? If opportunity to report potentially ebbs and flows every four years, how do professors plan curriculum and attract students to the programs?

A panel hosted at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Sacramento September 2016, addressed the best practices for teaching science and environmental reporting. A common theme emerged among the speakers: interdisciplinary approach.

Continue reading Maintaining a science writing program