Pacific North West Media Training Programs Planned Throughout Region

Reporters addressing climate change impacts in the Pacific North West may have several opportunities over coming months to cram a lot of learning into a one-day class.

The University of Oregon’s Climate Leadership Initiative is teaming with the university’s School of Journalism and Communication in several locations for what sponsors call “a unique seminar for journalists on one of the most pressing and debated issues of our time: climate change.”

In partnership also with the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), the group is building off a highly successful June 2007 Portland one-day workshop that attracted some 70 reporters and editors from throughout the region. The group next is planning to partner also with Southern Oregon University for an October 27 “Reporting Ahead of the Curve” seminar in Ashland.

“The topic of climate change has expanded beyond the science section to encompass business, finance, outdoor, lifestyle, health, and political beats,” the group says in promoting its October 27 program on the Southern Oregon University campus. Featured speakers for the session include Philip Mote, of the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group, and Brad Knickerbocker, of the Christian Science Monitor.

The 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. is designed to “support the media in accurately reporting on climate change and in providing regionally-specific coverage of the topic across many beats,” according to Sarah Mazze, program coordinator. She says tentative plans also call for similar programs in Spokane, Wa., in January, in Northern California, in February, and in Bend, La Grande, and coastal Oregon in March, April, and May.

The Ashland agenda includes a session on impacts of climate change in the region and an examination of impacts on forestry/fires, water resources, and the wine industry. Another session deals with efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and with mitigation options. The day is scheduled to end with a one-hour panel of reporters and editorial writers sharing their experiences in covering the issue. Joining Knickerbocker on that panel, to be moderated by University of Oregon journalism school’s Carol Ann Bassett, are editorial writer Paul Neville of the Eugene Register Guard and A.P. reporter Jeff Barnard.

For information on the seminars, reporters should contact Seth Walker at the University of Oregon School of Journalism at 503-725-9073 or at A $35 registration fee includes lunch.

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