Investigative journalism just got a huge boost today with the launch of the new Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN).
Serious media coverage of environmental issues has taken a beating over recent years, with some of the nation’s leader journalists – such as TIME / LA Times ace reporter Margot Roosevelt – getting axed due to budget cuts.
“Our stories will fall under the classic mandate of investigative reporting–to reveal corruption, abuse of power, and exploitation wherever it happens; to expose activities that the powerful work to keep hidden or to explore subjects that are just too complex for the breaking news cycle,” said Editor-in-Chief Sam Fromartz in today’s release. “We’ve chosen to focus on food, agriculture, and environmental health specifically because we feel these are under-reported subjects that touch people’s lives every day.”
FERN has gathered a serious staff and board of advisors, including Sam (author of Organic, Inc.), Ruth Reichl (former Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet magazine) and Allison Arieff, contributing columnist for The New York Times.
FERN’s first story report takes a hard look at pollution by the powerful dairy industry in New Mexico and how one man became the driving force behind a movement that brought the state’s mega-dairies to heel. Click here to read the story.
On a personal note, I remember attending the meeting a few years ago which spawned FERN. The folks working on this project – including Sam, Naomi and Paula – are truly amazing and brilliant. Keep your eyes on FERN – they’re destined to make a big impact.
A registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation based in New York, the Food and Environment Reporting Network was founded in October 2009 and began operations in January 2011. It is funded by the generous support of the The 11th Hour Project, McKnight Foundation, Clarence Heller Foundation, Columbia Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.