Columbia suspends Environmental Journalism Program...

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Columbia suspends Environmental Journalism Program...

Postby Kevin » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:23 am

From Climate Progress via the AW blog center...

Strange and fundamentally untimely news from one of the leading US graduate schools of journalism...

"Columbia Journalism Review itself reports the startling and depressing news:

CJR wrote:For the first time since it was created fourteen years ago, Columbia University’s highly regarded dual-degree graduate program in environmental journalism will not be accepting applications for next academic year.

In a letter to faculty at the Graduate School of Journalism, the Department of Environmental Sciences, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the program directors cited falling employment in the field, the rising costs of education, and a lack of financial aid for students as the reasons for their decision:

“As you know, media organizations across the county are in dire financial straits and thousands of journalists’ jobs have been eliminated. Science and environment beats have been particularly vulnerable. Although our graduates have done well in their careers, even those still employed are finding few opportunities to do the kind of substantive reporting for which the dual degree program has trained them, as they scramble to do their own work plus that of laid-off colleagues.”


CJR also wrote:"I have a lot of respect for the decision and the people who made it, but strongly disagree,” says Dan Fagin, the director of New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program, which enrolls 15 or 16 students every year and competes with the Columbia two-year program for students. “We’ve never needed well-trained science, health and environmental journalists more than we do right now. Yes, the market is tough, but with persistence, flexibility, and the right training, it is possible to find professional work even in this difficult environment. It can be done; it is being done."
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