As expected, the 4th Annual Campus and Community Sustainability conference has brought together a group of exceptional speakers who are presenting on a number of thought-provoking topics.
My first session of the morning, entitled “Sustainability in the Media,” began as an exploration into the (limited) coverage of sustainable stories in the media. The panelists consisted of radio, television, newspaper, and website correspondents from the Tampa Bay area, and each weighed in on the challenge of reporting during such a dramatic change in the journalism industry. What started as a focused look at sustainability developed into a sometimes heated exchange regarding the shrinking size of newsrooms across the country and their increasing inability to validate and report on various technical issues due to staff reductions. We were unable to reach any definitive conclusions regarding the role of the media in educating the public (especially with the growing effect of “blurring the line” between fact and opinion that is taking place at many major news media outlets), but we all agreed that the main focus should remain on fact-checking, vetting, and confirming all sources and stories in order to retain integrity and credibility.