On Earth Day, WBUR has launched Earthwhile, a new vertical dedicated to reporting on local environmental issues with national resonance. Led by award-winning journalist Barbara Moran, Earthwhile will focus on energy, environmental health, ecology and climate change. Earthwhile is funded by The Campaign for WBUR.
“As we continue to see the impact of climate change and environmental policy on our communities, it’s integral to our mission that WBUR inform the public about them,” said WBUR Managing Director of News & Programming Sam Fleming. “The debut of Earthwhile with its full-time reporting staff will enable us to expand our newsroom efforts to cover a wide range of stories related to the environment.”
Senior producing editor Barbara Moran, senior reporter Bruce Gellerman and multi-media reporter Miriam Wasser aim to make environmental issues a larger part of peoples’ conversation, helping listeners connect seemingly disparate issues such as climate change, public health, energy, ecology and infrastructure. The team will kick off with a series of stories discussing nuclear power plants in New England and how they impact the environment as well as the economy. Earthwhile will focus on strong reporting and storytelling, multimedia innovation and public outreach.
“Climate change is the great challenge of our time, and an informed public will be better equipped to make the important decisions that confront us all,” said Moran. “Our job is to reach listeners and readers who might be ‘turned off’ by environmental news, and draw them in with engaging narrative, creative multimedia and stories that haven’t been told before.”
Moran is a science journalist committed to covering issues of public health, environmental justice and the intersection of science and society. She has written for many publications, including the New York Times, New Scientist, Technology Review, Boston Globe Magazine and the Hartford Courant, and has produced television documentaries for PBS, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel and others. She has twice won the National Association of Science Writer’s highest honor, the Science in Society Award.
Gellerman has received more than 50 journalism awards including the prestigious AAAS Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (twice), Sigma Delta Chi-Society of Professional Journalism award and the American Bar Association award. During his storied career, Gellerman has taught journalism around the world, including in Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Sierre Leone and Uganda. His deep experience includes work in print, television and radio including past roles hosting popular public media programs, Here & Now (in its original one-hour format) and Living On Earth, a weekly environmental news and information program.
Wasser is the newest member of the EarthWhile team. Prior to joining WBUR, she covered energy and the environment as a freelance reporter in Massachusetts and as a staff writer at the Phoenix New Times in Arizona. While in the southwest, she traveled to Fukushima, Japan and Chernobyl Ukraine as part of a six-month project about nuclear power. Wasser has a master’s degree from the Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, and a bachelor’s in government and international relations from Connecticut College.
The Campaign for WBUR, the organization’s first-ever capital campaign with an unprecedented goal of $40 million, supports three key investment areas: CitySpace, Expanding Journalism for Boston and the Nation, and Ensuring the Future Through Innovation. Specific journalistic endeavors include increased environmental reporting, investigative journalism, arts and culture reporting, education reporting and local newsroom fellowships to hire and train the next generation of public media journalists. The innovation funding supports WBUR’s iLab and BizLab to ensure the sustainability of public radio in today’s ever-evolving media environment. At the heart of the entire Campaign for WBUR is an unrelenting focus on independent journalism.
Find out more about Earthwhile here.