There’s a freedom in preaching to the choir. Namely, you’ve already got their hearts, so now you can focus on their minds. Unquestionably, a writer needs to grab her readers’ attention and keep them engaged, regardless. But the starting point matters. The more the readers already know and care, the deeper the writer can dive.
So I’ve decided to submit an article to Grist, the online environmental news and commentary magazine with a definite environmentalist edge. This is a bit of a twist for me as a writer. When I first decided to shift my conservation expertise towards communication, I was excited about reaching a broad audience. I still am. Blue Ridge Press for example, has been a great outlet for me to craft commentary. As a nonprofit news service, Blue Ridge Press is able to able to distribute its columns to newspapers free of charge. Small and medium sized newspapers, forced to cut science and environment writers in the internet age, can run a Blue Ridge Press piece covering national or regional environmental topics that their readers might otherwise miss. And beyond the Blue Ridge is a vast horizon of mainstream publications with diverse audiences searching for good feature stories to entertain and inspire. I’m gearing my current studies in the Johns Hopkins MA in Writing Program with those publications in mind.
Yet those who regularly follow environmental issues sense that the current constellation of events – the economy, global population and Occupy Wall Street – are intimately intertwined with environmental concerns. Understanding just how they intertwine is far from straightforward. Publications like Grist, Orion magazine and others have a strong foundation from which to explore these complexities, and can do so in a multimedia fashion. Taste a sample for yourself, with OWS videos on Grist here and audio of Orion’s editors discussing their November/December 2011 issue below.
So I’ll be expanding my opportunities and contributing to the discussion beyond this blog and my existing venues. Stay tuned (or rather, stay posted) for more.