Environmental Journalism in the Era of Clickbait Content

Feb. 19, 2:30 pm, Weinmann Hall, Room 151

Between Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Disaster, Louisiana and the surrounding Gulf states were ground zero for two of the most pressing environmental stories of the 21st century.  Four renowned local journalists will give insight on their careers and the relationship between journalism and environmental policy, an indispensable ingredient of environmental awareness in Louisiana, and across-the-board.  These journalists will also discuss their views on the future of environmental journalism, especially in the context of clickbait content online.


Bob Marshall, The Lens

Bob Marshall mug shotBob Marshall is a New Orleans journalist whose reporting on Louisiana coastal issues at The Times-Picayune and The Lens has been recognized by two Pulitzer Prizes; the John H. Oakes Prize for Distinguished Environmental Reporting from Columbia University; the Keck Award for best science reporting from The National Academies of Sciences, a national Edward Murrow Award from the Radio, Television and Digital News Association, Gannett Award for Innovative Watchdog Journalism from the Investigative Reports and Editors Association, The National Headliners Award and many others.  In previous lives Bob’s work as a sportswriter led to induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, while his achievements as an outdoors writer resulted in selection for the Circle of Chiefs, the highest award for conservation writing from the Outdoors Writers Association of America. Marshall lives in his native New Orleans with his wife, Marie Gould, founder of Louisiana Lost Lands Environmental Educational Tours.


Clancy Dubos, Co-Owner and Political Editor, The Gambit

Clancy DubosClancy DuBos is the political editor/columnist for Gambit weekly newspaper in New Orleans. He also is the on-air political commentator for WWL-TV (CBS) in New Orleans, and a licensed attorney in Louisiana. Clancy and his wife Margo have owned Gambit since 1991. Clancy began his journalism career as a general assignment reporter for The Times-Picayune while still in college in 1973. He eventually became the newspaper’s City Hall reporter before leaving the paper in 1981 to begin working at various television stations as an on-air political reporter and analyst, and as Gambit’s political columnist. He now works full-time for Gambit and delivers his weekly “Clancy’s Commentary” on WWL-TV every Tuesday during the station’s 6 p.m. newscast. As a journalist, Clancy has earned numerous awards for his columns and regularly appears as an expert on Louisiana politics on network radio and television talk shows.


Debbie Elliot, National Correspondent, NPR News

Debbie ElliotNPR National Correspondent Debbie Elliott can be heard telling stories from her native South.   She’s on top of the latest news and politics, and attuned to the region’s rich culture and history.  She’s looked at the legacy of landmark civil rights struggles, and is following today’s legal battles between states and the federal government over immigration, healthcare, and voting rights.  Debbie has reported on the recovery from Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast, and the impact of the BP oil spill.   She launched the series, “The Disappearing Coast,” which examines Louisiana’s complicated relationship with the oil and gas industry, and the oil spill’s lasting imprint on a fragile coastline.  She’s tracking how states are using restoration funds from BP’s court settlements and pollution fines.  Debbie is a former host of NPR’s news magazine All Things Considered on the Weekends. She reported on Congress from Capitol Hill, and has been covering Presidential elections for more than two decades.  Debbie Elliott was born in Atlanta, grew up in the Memphis area, and is a graduate of the University of Alabama. She lives in south Alabama with her husband and two children.


Mark Schleifstein, Environmental Reporter, The Times-Picayune

DINAH ROGERS / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Mark Schleifstein Staff Headshot July 2012Mark Schleifstein is the hurricane and environment reporter for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. He is co-author of the 2002 series, “Washing Away,” which warned that much of New Orleans could be flooded by hurricane storm surge because the area’s levees were too low and subject to overtopping. The series – which won awards from the National Hurricane Conference and the American Society of Civil Engineers – received international attention after Hurricane Katrina, because it had foretold the disaster lying in wait for the city. Schleifstein’s reporting on Katrina was among the newspaper’s stories honored with 2006 Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service and Breaking News Reporting and the George Polk Award for Metropolitan Reporting. He’s also the co-author with John McQuaid of the book “Path of Destruction: The Devastation of New Orleans and the Coming Age of Superstorms.” Stories he wrote on coastal science issues were honored in 2006 with a special award from the American Geophysical Union. He also was co-author of the 1996 series, “Oceans of Trouble: Are the World’s Fisheries Doomed?”, which won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Schleifstein is a member of the board of directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists. With The Times-Picayune since 1984, he has covered City Hall, the 1988 Presidential campaign, the 1987 Louisiana governor’s campaign, and the environment.

Dr. Bob Thomas (moderator), Professor and Chair in Environmental Communication, Loyola University New Orleans

Bob ThomasProfessor of Mass Communication, Loyola University.  Director, Loyola Center for Environmental Communication.  Tropical biologist and herpetologist



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s