Poynter Fellows in Journalism to Discuss the Environment At the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Four journalists who have covered the environment for the New York Times, Time magazine and the former Boston Globe will discuss “What Has Happened Since the 1992 Earth Summit, How We Can Do Better, and What the Media Can and Can’t Do,” in a panel discussion on April 20.

The event is co-sponsored by the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism, which for three decades has brought distinguished reporters and editors to Yale to discuss issues of broad public concern. This panel of Poynter Fellows is the first to focus on environmental issues.

The panelists are Dianne Dumanoski, author and Boston Globe reporter; Eugene Linden of Time; Robert Semple, deputy editorial page editor for the New York Times; and Philip Shabecoff, author and former reporter for the New York Times.

They will expand on the main topic with comments on the forces shaping the environmental agenda, how presidential leadership affects the environment, and whether environmentalism demands a rethinking of current notions of individualism, private property and unmanaged markets.

“These four individuals are among the greatest environmental journalists of our era,” Dean James Gustave Speth said. “With a new administration fresh in office in Washington and a second Earth summit looming in the near future, this is guaranteed to be a stimulating and informative event.”

Dumanoski, who received a master’s degree from Yale in 1967, covered national and global environmental issues for the Boston Globe from 1983 to 1993. She was among the pioneers reporting on the new generation of global environmental issues, including ozone depletion, global warming, and the accelerating loss of species. Her reporting combined expertise in the scientific questions with a strong interest in the political process of making policy.

She also wrote One Earth, a monthly environmental column for the Globe’s Health and Science section, where she explored cultural, spiritual, and psychological dimensions of the environmental movement as well as innovative ideas such as “green” taxes.

With scientists Theo Colborn and Pete Myers, she wrote the 1996 book, “Our Stolen Future,” which asserts that a wide range of chemicals produced by humans can disrupt delicate hormone systems and alter physical development.

Linden, a member of the Yale class of 1969, has been writing about science, technology, the environment and humanity’s relationship with nature in books, articles, and essays for 25 years.

He has played a central role in all of Time’s special issues devoted to the environment. He wrote the main story for Time’s first global special issue, “How to Save the Earth,” published on Earth Day 2000, and helped conceptualize the international special issue, “Our Precious Planet.” In it he wrote the overview, an essay on migration, and a closing piece putting the environmental movement into perspective.

In addition, he helped conceptualize Time’s celebrated planet-of-the-year issue, “Endangered Earth,” published in 1989, and wrote the lead article which explored the crisis in biodiversity.

For the past decade, much of Linden’s magazine writing has been at Time, which he joined in 1987 with the responsibility to conceive of, report, and write major stories on the environment and science.

Linden has written several books, including “The Parrot’s Lament and Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity” (1999). The book was serialized in Time, and material from the book also appeared in the Reader’s Digest. In 1998, Simon & Schuster published Linden’s “The Future in Plain Sight,” which was described by the Rocky Mountain News as “the most important book of the decade.”

Semple, a member of the Yale class of 1959, won a 1996 Pulitzer Prize for his editorials on the environment. He joined the Times in 1963 and has served in various reporting and editing capacities. He was White House correspondent under Presidents Johnson and Nixon. He served as London Bureau Chief for the Times in the mid-1970s and as foreign editor from 1977 to 1982. He then ran the Times’ op-ed page for six years, and since 1988 has been associate editor of the paper’s editorial page. He also carries the extra title of chief editorial writer. His specialties are politics and the environment, and he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1966 for editorials on environmental issues.

Shabecoff spent 32 years with the New York Times in a wide variety of assignments, among them chief environmental correspondent. He left in 1991 to found Greenwire, an electronically distributed daily environmental news digest. He has written many books on the environment, including “Earth Rising: American Environmentalism in the 21st Century,” published last year; “A New Name for Peace: International Environmentalism, Sustainable Development and Democracy,” and “A Fierce Green Fire: The American Environmental Movement.”

From 1977 to 1991 he was chief environmental correspondent in the Times’ Washington bureau. Prior to that, he was White House correspondent during the Nixon and Ford administrations, and the economics and labor correspondent in the Washington bureau.

After leaving the Times, Shabecoff set editorial policy for Greenwire, whose subscribers are the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, the Energy Department, the Defense Department, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives, several state environmental agencies, a number of universities and many corporations and environmental organizations.

The panel discussion will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Bowers Auditorium, Sage Hall, 205 Prospect St.

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