NPR plans environmental reporting project with stations

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NPR is assembling a new reporting team to focus on energy and the environment with contributions from journalists at its member station.

In a memo to stations, Bruce Auster, NPR’s senior editor for collaborative coverage, said the network is seeking applications from stations and will select about a dozen reporters to participate. Applications are due by July 31, and reporters will be chosen in August.

“NPR energy and environment coverage has always been a team effort,” Auster wrote in the memo. “Now we want to take another step toward deeper, sustained collaboration on this important topic.”

The team will be led by Nishant Dahiya, NPR’s Asia editor. Dahiya will continue in his role but will devote part of his day to the new environment team. Four reporters will contribute to the new team: Chris Joyce and Alison Richards, both science desk correspondents; Jeff Brady, a national desk correspondent; and John Ydstie, a business desk correspondent. Other news desks might also contribute if their expertise is needed for a story, said Isabel Lara, a spokesperson for NPR.

“The new team is the latest step in our ‘collaborative coverage’ effort to work more closely with Member stations on specific beats and topics,” Auster said.

“For the past year, a team of NPR and Member station journalists has been working on how to work together to identify and report on complex and important topics and trends,” he added.

This project is part of NPR’s vision to expand collaborative news coverage, which has been in the works for the past year and also includes education reporting, a partnership with Kaiser Health News and a series called “Back at Base.”

In addition to collaborating with member station reporters, Auster says the new team will also look to work with other, already-established reporting collaborations like Inside Energy, EarthFix and StateImpact.

“By planning coverage together, we can explore big national (and international) issues with focused, locally-based stories,” Auster said.

According to Lara, the group plans to launch by mid-September, in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which takes place in Paris at the end of the year.

NPR is envisioning the project as a “long-term effort,” she said.

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