Columbia Journalism Review itself reports the startling and depressing news:
For the first time since it was created fourteen years ago, Columbia University’s highly regarded dual-degree graduate program in environmental journalism will not be accepting applications for next academic year.
In a letter to faculty at the Graduate School of Journalism, the Department of Environmental Sciences, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the program directors cited falling employment in the field, the rising costs of education, and a lack of financial aid for students as the reasons for their decision:
“As you know, media organizations across the county are in dire financial straits and thousands of journalists’ jobs have been eliminated. Science and environment beats have been particularly vulnerable. Although our graduates have done well in their careers, even those still employed are finding few opportunities to do the kind of substantive reporting for which the dual degree program has trained them, as they scramble to do their own work plus that of laid-off colleagues.”
Maybe not a total surprise to readers of this blog and Chris Mooney’s book, Unscientific America,” but very untimely decision for two reasons. First,”The scientific community is failing miserably in communicating the potential catastrophe of climate change.” And second, the issue of global warming has already emerged as a top tier issue — and it’s increasingly obvious that it will become “the Story of the Century,” as I called it in my book. Indeed CJR quotes one of the graduates pointing this very fact out: