Your audience as an environmental journalist is likely to have a pre-existing knowledge of, or interest in, environmental matters. Those who are involved in the environmental science community, such as zoologists, botanists and geologists are going to have some of the most vested interest in environmental journalism because their expectation will be that their findings, as well as their colleagues’ findings are shared with the public by news media in fair and accurate ways. All research professionals want their findings to be portrayed accurately. For an environmental scientist, misinformation caused by inaccurate reporting could lead to people acting in ways that are environmentally unsound.
The expectations for an environmental journalist are the same as any other journalist. They need to be professional. They should have a working knowledge of environmental matters and concerns. This doesn’t mean they need to have the depth of knowledge of an environmental scientist, but they should understand the issues facing the environment well enough to know which points to highlight in their stories. They should use discretion in their sources and only speak with those who they know to be experts in their fields. An environmental journalist needs to create value for their audience. They can accomplish this by covering stories that are relevant to the world. If at first glance, a story doesn’t seem relevant to a reader, a good environmental journalist will demonstrate its relevance right away.
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