News Review Assignment

Choosing articles:

         Choose an article that discusses a conflict over an environmental issue. Conflicts may be between groups of people, or between people and some aspect of the environment.

         Articles should come from newspapers, either in print or online; links to some sources are provided on the class web page.

         Articles should be at least 8-10 paragraphs to provide enough information for you to review.

         Choose articles discussing current events. They should be no more that one month older than the assignment due date.

         Avoid using articles published as editorials (opinions, columns) or press releases. While often interesting and informative, these tend not to be as thorough or present only one opinion on a topic.

         Attach a copy of the news item to your review.


News Review Format:

Your reviews will be typed, single-spaced, 1-1.5 pages. I encourage you to conserve resources when you do this assignment by doing one or more of the following:

         reuse paper already printed on one side, or

         use recycled and/or unbleached paper, or

         use no paper.

On a trial basis, I will accept news reviews by email. Follow the same formatting guidelines.

         Place your name, class, and assignment in the subject line.

(Example subject line: Susie Student, ENVS 150 News Review #1)

         To be sure I can read your assignments on my computer, send them within an email message, or as a Microsoft Word document, with the article copied into the same document. You may attempt to email a link to an article, but know that it is not always successful.

         Points will be deducted for not following these format guidelines.


In addition to your own name and date of your assignment, the header of your review must include the proper citation for the article:


(include both where you saw the article as well as where it was originally published, if applicable)

Date published:


(indicate wire service if author is not given, for example: AP, author unknown)



The body of your review should be a paragraph addressing each of the following six questions. Number each paragraph according to each question. (Please do not include the questions with each paragraph.)

1.       What is the central issue or problem in this news item? What is the location or setting of the issue?

2.       Who are the parties involved in or affected by this situation? Discuss how they are involved or affected. Non-human species and ecosystems may be included here.

3.       What actions were taken or proposed, and what were the actual or expected consequences of the action(s)? How effective was (or might be) each action in dealing with the issue?

4.       What is missing from this article? Is the story one-sided? Are there any parties whose interests are not covered in this article?

5.       What are the financial issues? Are there economic or political interests in this issue? These may or may not be addressed directly in the article. Speculate on what you think the economic or political impacts may be.

6. How was science or the scientific method used or cited in the article? Explain and give examples.

6.       What is your opinion on the situation? What suggestions can you offer to improve the situation? Do you think this situation is or can be resolved? (Note: "They are doing everything that can be done" is not an acceptable answer.)

Examples are available for viewing on the class web page.

Example 1

Example 2