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My challenge over the next few weeks is to keep the website updated regularly over the Easter holidays. All the journalists have most likely gone home for the holidays and after their first deadline, probably feel like they need a break!

One thing which may help to keep ENO alive (suggested by Paul Bradshaw) is to publish quality environmental blogs on the site. This would ensure we had new articles regularly and also introduce a UGC element to ENO. So, if you have anything which you think might be suitable for Environmental News Online, let me know!

Personally, I’m hoping to write more often for the website over Easter and keep researching leads for the journalists. Unfortunately though, not all of the ‘work-in-progress’ that I blogged about previously has materialised into stories yet.

I’m still looking into the BTCV eco-dating event and have had a really interesting response from their York branch. I’m hoping to get in touch with a couple who met on the eco speed-date!

Eco-skepticism?

The lead which was sent into us by an ENO reader however, has not worked out. The potential article was about a comment made on a blog claiming that Scripps climate scientists are never invited onto right-wing San Diego radio-talk shows to express thier views.

I tried to find out if this was true.

A reply from the Scripps Communications Office revealed that Scripps scientists had infact been asked to take part in a debate the issue of climate change but had declined. They said,

“Being asked to debate is not effective – it just feeds in to the “uncertainty” framework, which scientists do not support.”

So is this ‘uncertainty framework’ fed by media outlets, the reason that people, as Joanna Geary from the Birmingham Post has pointed out, distrust environmental journalism?

A comment on Joanna’s blog post suggests that eco-reporting is approached with skepticism because it is based on fear. Scripps scientists don’t want to feed into the news media’s ‘uncertainty framework’ and promote fear, so they just don’t enter into the climate change debate.

But then, is a one-sided arguement being presented on these talk-shows? Are people being told that climate change isn’t real? We can’t just ignore the many, many climate scientists telling us we need to change our lifestyles, and now, just because we don’t trust enviro-journalism, surely?

My investigation…

My little investigation fell flat too! I thought I’d try to find out what kind of company cars were being used by Council employees and how much CO2 emmissions were being pumped out by people working for a Government claiming to rate climate change as high on their agenda.

I started small and applied through Freedom of Information for details of the company cars paid for by Birmingham City Council.

They don’t have any!

Oh well, at least I know how easy the process is now! What is interesting though, is that on Wednesday (19th Mar), the Government were asked about their cars’ green credentials.

This article on downingstreetsays.com reveals that the Government claim to have moved to greener cars over the last two years “resulting in a 30% reduction in average emissions from Government cars.” They also claim to be accelerating the pace of transition to low-emissions vehicles, but have to take into account operational and security requirements.

This may still be worth looking into further.

Keep checking back to ENO for exciting new developments, including video and interactive enviro-stories!

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It’s been nearly a week since ENO went officially live, and I think it’s going pretty well!

My involvement as Editor so far, has mainly been supporting the 14 journalists as they write their eco articles; many of whom knew very little about environmental issues before this experience. I have to admit, I wasn’t an expert either. The results have been good however. Our top stories this week are:

Yesterday’s task was to assign a specific story to every one of the journalists. So 14 new stories should be on their way very soon! I’m hoping to contribute to the site too.

This week the journalists have been split into groups and have been set the task of getting 4 guests to come and contribute to our environmental debate podcasts. On Monday, the guests will be interviewed about a number of environmental issues. The recordings will then be available to listen to on ENO, bringing a new audio element to the site. Personally, I’m excited, I think it should be a fun way of producing content for the website. I’ve invited a few people myself, so we’ll see who can make it.

Please check out the news site at www.environmentalnewsonline.com, and look out for those podcasts on Monday!