The Energy Beat

June 2004
Nieman Reports;Summer2004, Vol. 58 Issue 2, p4
The articles discusses issues and topics related to energy resources. To a journalist's ear, the word energy and crisis belong together, in part because coverage of energy issues has been fueled largely by episodic coverage of difficulties people confront when sources of energy diminish or they vanish, as in electricity blackouts. To some degree this approach is changing as better-trained journalists pursue stories about energy and keep watchful eyes on a wider range of critical energy issues. Edward Flattau writes that he finds much more awareness of energy's importance in our daily existence but energy pervasiveness is all too often still not appreciated, even by those who report regularly on it. As Washington bureau chief for a daily newsletter, Platts Oilgram News, Gerald Karey does detailed reporting about oil news, the kind most news organizations do not give their audience. Margaret Kriz describes how politics and energy policy intersect and she provides a list of energy stories to watch. To investigate whether companies are adhering to environmental news regulating the removal of mountaintops to mine coal, Ken Ward Jr. dug through documents to develop a database of mining permits. His reporting revealed many flaws in the regulatory system that allowed companies to avoid their post-mining responsibilities in restoring the land. Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran examines how well journalists navigate through he claims and counterclaims made about the hydrogen fuel cell's potential as an energy carrier.


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