Columbia Journalism Review’s Anna Clark did a solid job of reporting the news that NPR will not be extending StateImpact to new states. And she did it while giving a big nod to the excellent, award-winning work of our state teams, who are well-positioned to successfully carry their StateImpact work forward.
As a reporter covering the energy boom for StateImpact Pennsylvania, Susan Phillips has hung out with the residents of Dimock, a plastic surgeon making house calls in the village of Rae, and even a hitchhiking shale gas poet.
Now, she’s headed up to Cambridge to hang out with academics — and other immensely talented science journalists like her.
Susan was one of 12 journalists chosen for the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT in 2013-14. That means she’ll get to spend nine months taking classes, attending seminars and going to boot camps with some of the world’s preeminent energy researchers.
Susan is looking forward to immersing herself with so many smart people, and to developing sources who can deepen her reporting on energy and environmental issues in the future.
“One thing about this beat, she says, “is that there’s a plethora of studies and conclusions coming out every other day that contradict each other. It’s hard to know, if you don’t have a science background, what to believe and what not to believe.” Susan says it will be good to find “sources you can trust, and check with in terms of — is this a story or is it not a story? If it’s a story, what should I look for? What questions should I ask about it?”
As a Knight Science Journalism Fellow, Susan will be free of deadlines for almost a year. She’s also required to design her own course of study and take at least one science class per semester at either MIT or Harvard. Susan isn’t yet sure what classes she’ll take, but there’s one thing she knows she wants to get out of it.
“I’m hoping to learn about new energy sources on the horizon,” she says. “On one hand, there’s what the new research is and technologies involved with clean energy. But also, what’s the next fossil fuel development they’ll go after?”
Big congratulations to Susan, who expects to wind down with StateImpact in late July. The fellowship starts in Cambridge in mid-August. She can return to WHYY when the program finishes in May 2014.
The Radio Television Digital News Association released its list of winners for the Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards today. And StateImpact’s work was all over it.
Our teams in Florida, Idaho, Indiana and Pennsylvania won a total of seven regional Murrows for their work in 2012.
Here’s the full StateImpact list:
- StateImpact Florida’s “13th Grade” reports, a series on the remedial education crisis, won for investigative reporting in Region 13.
- StateImpact Idaho’s Molly Messick won the best writing award in Region 1 for her piece on the diverging economic fates of loggers and ranchers in rural Idaho.
- StateImpact Idaho won in the hard news reporting category in Region 1 for Emilie Ritter Saunders’ work on Idaho’s doctor shortage.
- StateImpact Indiana’s “Progress Report” won in the news documentary category for Region 7.
- StateImpact Pennsylvania won both of Region 11′s awards in investigative reporting for radio. That includes an award for Scott Detrow’s work on abandoned wells and Susan Phillips’ examination of a rule that requires doctors to keep quiet about what they know about chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.
- StateImpact Pennsylvania also won in the news series category of Region 11 for several Scott Detrow stories related to the impact of Pennsylvania’s natural gas boom.
Idaho’s legislature adjourned yesterday, giving Boise State Public Radio reporters Molly Messick and Emilie Ritter Saunders and news director Sadie Babits a chance to catch their breath. I’ve been really impressed with StateImpact Idaho’s legislative coverage this year. Here’s four reasons why:
- They started early. Molly and Emilie began sketching out a coverage plan not long after the November election. By early December, they were interviewing key legislative leaders, such as the new House Speaker. That gave them good Q&A content to run during the holidays. It also helped them to develop sources and plugged them into what issues would be coming up during the 2013 session. They rolled all of it and more into this really handy guide to the 2013 legislative session. Continue reading
Three cheers for StateImpact New Hampshire’s Emily Corwin, who found a way to take conversations in the state legislatures about raising the gas tax to improve the state’s roads and found a way to make it interesting, engaging and even, dare I say, adorable. Emily collaborated with New Hampshire Public Radio’s Sara Plourde, digital producer extraordinaire, to create this animated video:
How on earth did they do it, you ask?
Well… Emily wrote the script and added notes throughout, denoting what sorts of visuals she imagined might help illustrate each segment. Sara then worked her magic and added her own style to Continue reading
Around The Network
- WLRN announced that reporter Sammy Mack is joining the StateImpact Florida team.
- Logan Layden and Joe Wertz of StateImpact Oklahoma led a discussion of water issues March 20 at a community “On Tap” event sponsored by KOSU.
- The Yale University Center for Environmental Law and Policy invited Susan Phillips of StateImpact Pennsylvania to talk about “emerging issues in shale gas development” as part of its webinar series on public policy.
- Chris Satullo and members of the web team at WHYY presented a webinar to public media managers highlighting how their NewsWorks site is adapting its strategy to deal with the challenges of a “sideways world.”
- Terrence Henry had a New York Times byline (print and web) thanks to KUT’s partnership with the Texas Tribune. The article on wastewater disposal wells credited StateImpact Texas.
- The NPR team doesn’t physically move until April 12, but our mailing address is now officially 1111 North Capitol St. NE, Washington, DC 20002
Sammy Mack is joining StateImpact Florida as a Miami-based reporter. She’ll collaborate with Tampa-based reporter John O’Connor in continuing the project’s award-winning coverage of education in Florida.
Mack has worked in just about every position in the WLRN-Miami Herald newsroom. She’s been a producer on the shows Topical Currents, the Florida Roundup, Under the Sun, and the Morning Edition newscasts. Most recently, as special projects editor, she oversaw the editorial side of the WLRN.org re-launch. Continue reading
Just When You Think You Know Everything …
- Promoting Live Events on Social Media: What to do before, during and after a community event.
- 2013 NICAR’s Greatest Hits: A report about all of the cool stuff that was on display at the premier event for news data geeks.
- Reporter Quickstart: A guide to the essentials that StateImpact reporters need to know.
Spotlight: What To Do When Event Planners Want You
Susan Phillips gets asked to be on a lot of panel discussions, which is great for getting exposure for StateImpact Pennsylvania and creating dialogue on her topic. But she’s learned that no two events are the same, and asking some basic questions upfront can avoid surprises. Read her Nine Tips For Being a Panelist.
Hanging Out Online With Mose Buchele
Mose Buchele of StateImpact Texas had a two-panel day last Tuesday.
During the day, he participated in a Minnesota Public Radio video discussion related to fracking. The panel was conducted via a Google Hangout. And despite some technical troubles (another one of the panelists had a bad internet connection), the result was a good example of how to use Google’s video conferencing tool to create a work of explanatory journalism.
In the evening, he moderated StateImpact Texas’ second live event in a month. This one brought four state legislators together to discuss ways of managing the effects of Texas’ oil and gas boom. More than 110 people came out to listen to the conversation and participate. “We got really awesome questions from the audience,” Mose said. Terrence Henry worked the mike through the crowd, while sending out snippets of the conversation on Twitter. Terrence filed a radio story related to the event, and audio and video from the event have filled multiple subsequent blog posts. Continue reading
StateImpact won 3 of the 11 awards that NPR received in the Best of Digital Design competition last week from the Society for News Design.
SND recognition is among the highest honor awarded for news design. It’s especially notable since, according to SND, only the New York Times and Washington Post won more awards than NPR. Continue reading