Almost three-and-a-half years ago Echo reported the discovery of a stable population of mudpuppies in Ontario’s Sydenham River.
Mudpuppies are one of the more bizarre-looking creatures that inhabit the Great Lakes region. Their fans are as diverse as adult scientists and young kids.
And Echo journalists.
Here’s why: When people come across these giant salamanders they inevitably Google around to find something out about them.
Through the mysteries of Google’s algorithms, they apparently arrive at that old Echo story. Inevitably they post a message on the story along the lines of, “Hey, I saw …
I have a colleague who will teach survey methods in the pursuit of journalism next semester.
He’s asked for ideas for an environmental story that might be based on a survey of scientists or government officials.
That sounds good to me. Give it enough of a Great Lakes focus and such a story could well end up on Echo.
But for now, I think I’ll punt the question to Echo readers. Got an idea? Post it in the comments below. If you could get a bunch of Great Lakes scientists, regulators or policymakers …
Does all this water makes us talk the same?
The communities of the Great Lakes region have long shared an environmental, industrial, commercial, recreational, cultural heritage. Echo claims the region has a shared news community.
But a shared accent?
That’s what Slate recently indicated in an article cleverly titled Vowel Movement: How Americans near the Great Lakes are radically changing the sound of English.
The piece counters a perception that regional linguistic differences are homogenized by cheap travel, fast communications, pervasive media and economic globalization.
Instead, it says linguistic differences are the kinds of things …
Turnover is frustrating at university-based news organizations.
Just as a reporter hits her or his stride, they graduate and move on to another venue.
Of course fostering the growth that allows that to happen is fulfilling for an educator. But I’d also argue that in the long-run, it’s also good for the longterm quality of Echo’s journalism.
For with every reporter we train here at Echo, we expand our network of journalists who keep us abreast of creative newsgathering elsewhere, provide Great Lakes news tips and become potential freelancers for when we secure …
It’s a complex world. How best to explain it?
That’s the challenge facing journalists – particularly those who cover the environment.
Technology increases our communication tools. But can we also use less techy techniques?
OK, it’s a whacky idea. But bear with me. First check out this video of a dance flash mob.
It’s not just any dance. The participants are interpreting the concept of superconductivity. That’s when disorganized electrons pair up and synchronize and flow freely and efficiently under super cold temperatures.
Make sure to watch the little thermometer in the lower left …
Many years ago I wrote a news story about a group of divers hired to vacuum a chemical spill from the bottom of the St. Clair River.
It was dangerous work. The current was fast and they had to remove insoluble contaminants skittering around in depressions and mapped out with a rope grid.
The divers were an interesting bunch. Their next job was on a deep sea oil rig. But it was the job they just came from that caught my attention: Repair and maintenance of the sewers serving Toronto.
How cool of …