Summary of "The Reporter's Environmental Handbook"

Summary of

The Reporter's Environmental Handbook

by  Peter M. Sandman, Michael R. Greenberg

Summary written by T.A. O'Lonergan, Conflict Research Consortium

Citation: The Reporter's Environmental Handbook, Bernadette West, Peter M. Sandman, Michael R. Greenberg, (New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1995),328 pp.

The Reporter's Environmental Handbook is, as the title implies, a handbook style-text for use by journalists who are responsible for reporting on environmental issues. It offers a very basic background in multiple environmental issues.

The Reporter's Environmental Handbook will be of interest to those who seek an understanding of techniques for reporting on environmental issues. Following instruction in the use of the text, the authors examine the language of risk. The authors stress the importance of understanding the multiple dimensions of an environmental risk as a precondition for reporting on same. This is followed by a case study in finding sources in an environmental emergency.

The remainder of the book is divided into substantive briefings. Each briefing follows the same format. Each substantive area contains sections on: identifying the problem, correcting the problem, pitfalls in reporting on this subject, important points for researching stories in this area, and sources for journalists. The substantive areas covered in the book are as follows:

Acid Rain, Incinerators, Air pollution, Landfills, Asbestos, Leaking underground storage tanks, Automobiles and pollution Nuclear power plants (commercial), Benzene, Occupational exposure to toxic chemicals, Birth defects, Oil spills in marine environments, Cancer cluster claims, Ozone, Chemical Emergencies, Pesticides, Dioxin and PCBs, Radon (indoor), Electromagnetic fields, Recycling, Endangered species, Right-to-know (SARA Title III), Green marketing, Toxic metals: lead, mercury, cadmium, Greenhouse effect, Water pollution, Hazardous waste,

This is followed by a resource section which addresses: tracking down a company's environmental record, how to find an expert, and understanding major developments in Federal legislative history. The text ends with a list of acronyms and abbreviations and a directory of key telephone numbers and references.

The Reporter's Environmental Handbook offers very basic explanations of selected environmental problems and offers suggestions for researching these issues further.