On his own blog Cover the Planet, SEJ member Dave Poulson wonders if "success in environmental journalism [can] be measured by the absence of environmental reporting awards" for unearthing fraud, or simple waste, after a project's budget has been spent.
"A nice plaque for unearthing a fiasco may be a sign of quality journalism. But where’s the plaque for doing the reporting that kept a disaster from happening? Is that not also watchdog journalism in the public interest?"
The Obama Administration has proposed nearly a half billion dollars this year as a downpayment on what could be a multi-year, multi-billion dollar restoration effort.
This bonanza has cash-starved agencies and interest groups scrambling with a new problem: How do you responsibly spend such a huge environmental investment?
It should also have Great Lakes journalists scrambling with a big question: How do you responsibly report the spending of such an investment as it unfolds?
It’s a question that I asked a panel which examined the new effort at the SEJ conference.