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E-M:/ decline of environmental journalism -- and an environmental agency



A once-vigilant and proud Michigan press corps on environmental issues plunges to new lows almost every month.  Today's Detroit News continues the trend, featuring paragraphs of pablum from taxpayer-paid apologists for industry regarding the EPA's proposal to reinstate an ozone standard that not long ago even Russell Harding was touting.  Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that Michigan ozone exceedances increased last summer, or that Michigan sends its smog across the border to Ontario. Apparently, when it comes to news coverage, Canadian casinos count but not Canadian lungs.
 
If you'd like to read it, click on:
 
http://www.detnews.com/2000/metro/0001/23/01230085.htm
 
While the News has been obnoxious in its editorials on environmental issues for the last two decades, its news pages were relatively fair until the last several years.  Now they are largely just reprints of industry newsletter articles.  With the exception of Booth Newspapers, especially its Lansing bureau and the Muskegon Chronicle, Michigan dailies have abandoned serious environmental journalism that looks behind government/industry press releases.
 
And as for DEQ -- why not just rename it the Department of Economic Quality and quit the pretense of environmental protection?