This week I’m in Lubbock, Texas (of all places) for the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) annual conference. And as the saying goes everything’s bigger here – even the environmental issues.
So far, I’ve gotten to sit in on some interesting discussions involving fracking, water usage, water quality, food, sustainability, and the list goes on.
Perhaps what I’ve enjoyed most from this conference, however, is networking with journalists who have such a wide variety of experiences reporting all the issues previously mentioned.
I’ve only been interested in making the environment my beat for a short amount of time, so it’s been great to seek out advice from veteran journalists such as Jeff Burnside, an investigative reporter for KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Burnside is possibly the only broadcast reporter here at the conference. Most environmental reporters are in print. Burnside, however, did tell me that it is good for broadcast reporters to have a couple beats that they are interested in and can focus on.
As someone going into broadcasting, his advice comforted me and helped me see that I can pursue this as my niche. It’s just one of the many great things I’ll take with me after leaving Texas.