In March, Mongabay staff were invited to visit the University of Colorado-Boulder to discuss our model for non-profit environmental journalism with their journalism students and environmental reporting fellows. As part of that trip an evening public discussion was planned – “Global Environmental Journalism: Under Siege or Dawning Anew?”– featuring Mongabay’s founder Rhett A. Butler and two contributing writers with CU ties, Chris Lett and Taran Volckhausen. Hosted by the Center for Environmental Journalism and partners at the Albert A. Bartlett Science Communication Center and College of Media, Communication and Information, the discussion was wide-ranging, from finding funding to reporting on solutions to environmental challenges vs. the constant stream of ‘hard news’ type stories.
Mongabay.com was described as “one of the most successful environmental journalism startups in the world” in the event’s promotional materials, and the program was described further by the hosts this way, “CU Boulder’s Center for Environmental Journalism brought together Rhett Butler, the founder and CEO of Mongabay; Chris Lett, an Emmy-nominated journalist and Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism; and Taran Volckhausen, a Mongabay contributor and freelance multimedia journalist for an in-depth discussion about global environmental journalism.
“Butler shared Mongabay’s growth story — from his apartment to a global, multi-million-dollar environmental publication,” the event description continued. “He talked about what stories Mongabay is currently looking for, what the publication will want more of in the future, and what needs more coverage now — helpful for any journalist interested in working with Mongabay! All three talked about some of the biggest issues facing environmental journalism today. Michael Kodas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and deputy director of the Center for Environmental Journalism, moderated the panel.”
Many thanks to the Center for Environmental Journalism , Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental Journalism program and their partners at CU for hosting Mongabay.
Banner image of dawn in Madagascar by Rhett A. Butler.