Environmental Journalism Seminar set for Monday at UGA

ATHENS, Ga. – Jim Detjen, who holds the Knight Chair in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University (MSU), will deliver a seminar titled “Environmental Journalism: From “Silent Spring” to Hurricane Katrina,” Monday, Oct. 17, on the University of Georgia campus.

 The seminar, co-sponsored by UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and Environmental Ethics Certificate Program, will begin at 4 p.m. in the Student Learning Center, Room 148. A reception will follow in the Learning Center’s North Tower. 

Detjen joined the MSU journalism school faculty in January 1995 as the Knight Chair in Journalism and is holder of the nation’s only endowed chair in environmental reporting. He is also the director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and MSU’s Environmental Journalism Program. 

Prior to joining the Michigan State faculty, Detjen spent 21 years as a professional newspaper reporter and editor. He covered local government, police, agriculture and the environment for “The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal” from 1973 – 1977. He covered environmental issues, worked as an investigative reporter and wrote editorials at “The Courier-Journal” in Louisville, Ky., from 1978 -1982. He covered scientific, environmental and medical issues and served as a part-time editor on the science, state, city, national and foreign desks of “The Philadelphia Inquirer” from 1982 -1994. He has also worked as a part-time correspondent for “The New York Times” and his work has been published in “The Washington Post,” “The Chicago Tribune”, “The Detroit Free Press,” “The Miami Herald,” “The Boston Globe” and many other newspapers and magazines.  He served as the host of “Earth View,” a cable television program on environmental issues in 1992.

Detjen has won more than 50 state, national and international awards for his reporting, including the George Polk Award, the National Headliner Award for investigative reporting, the Thomas Stokes Award for natural resources reporting (twice) and the Edward Meeman Award for environmental reporting (five times). His work has been nominated eight times for a Pulitzer Prize and he has been a finalist three times.

 In 1996, Detjen received Columbia University’s “distinguished achievement” award from its Graduate School of Journalism for his contributions to environmental journalism. In 1997, “The Earth Times” named Detjen as one of the 100 most influential people on environmental and sustainable development issues in the world. In 1998, he was given the International Green Pen Award for his contributions to environmental journalism around the world. 

He is the co-author of or contributor to four books, “Who’s Poisoning America” (Sierra Club Books), “Media and the Environment” (Island Press), “Environmental Risk Reporting” (Rutgers University Press) and “A Field Guide for Science Writers” (Oxford University Press). His research interests focus on environmental and science reporting, journalism ethics and journalism history. 

Detjen has a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., where he was the managing editor of his college newspaper and a master’s degree with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has done additional academic work at Harvard University (business and public administration), the University of Washington at Seattle (environmental science) and the University of Maryland at College Park (Knight Fellow in biotechnology). 

Detjen and his wife Connie are the parents of two sons, Chris and Brad. They live in Okemos, Mich. 

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2005. It provides seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, considered the electronic broadcasting industry’s most prestigious prize. For more information, visit www.grady.uga.edu.