A Local Newspaper Invests in a Foreign Reporting Trip

Leggett, Doreen
June 2004
Nieman Reports;Summer2004, Vol. 58 Issue 2, p36
The article covers a debate about a possible wind farm siting in Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts. The Nantucket Sound wind farm story is one that has been picked up also by virtually every major paper in the country. There are strong environmental arguments swirling around on all sides of the wind farm debate. As the debate intensified resides of Cape Cod had a hard time distinguishing fact from fiction. Denmark has been discussed mainly by wind farm supporters, but opponents used the country as an example of a place that had zoned its oceans before putting the wind farms up. For three weeks in March 2003, eight articles were published in The Cape Codder newspaper. They had an instant impact on the debate. Participants in the Cape Cod wind farm debate could no longer throw salvos at each other without respecting the scientific evidence of and real-life experience with these European wind farms. almost immediately the debate became more focused: People began to demand more facts, rather than relying on the propaganda they were hearing from each side. Doing this reporting also led to covering other related energy issues, such as the paucity of natural gas and its effect on electric rates and the energy picture, and the ongoing discussions in Washington D.C.


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