ENVS& 100:  Introduction to Environmental Science  

News Reviews


News reviews are due every other Thursday by midnight.  Check the syllabus for dates.


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 will be from online news sources (not magazines); check web site for links to recommended sources.

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

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

·         Avoid overtly biased articles: editorials, opinions, columns, blogs, or press releases.  While often interesting, these tend not to be as thorough or present only one opinion on a topic. 

·         Evaluate the author carefully to help avoid press releases: if the author is an organization, don’t use it.

·         Include a copy of the news item or a link to it with your review.


News Review Format:

Write your news review on a computer, preferably using Microsoft Word.  If you use Works, WordPerfect, Open Office, or another processor, save your file as either a Rich Text File (*.rtf), a Text file (*.txt), or paste it into the body of your email.

§         single-spaced

§         1-1.5 pages, minimum of about 400 words.  

§         Place your name and the assignment in the file name. 

o        (Example: lastname_NewsReview1.doc) 

§         To include the article:

o        copy the text into the same document (preferred), or

o        include a link to the article in your document, but test it first to ensure success. 

§         Points will be deducted for not following these format guidelines. 


Submit your assignment by email:

Your reviews will be submitted by email to: lcarlson@centralia.edu.

§         Your subject line should be: ENVS 100 News Review #1 (or #2, etc.). 

§         Preferred: attach your Word document to your email.

§         Alternate: if you cannot use Word, save your document as either a Rich Text File (*.rtf), a Text file (*.txt), or paste it into the body of your email.  Be sure to maintain proper formatting regardless of which format you use.

§         Do not submit documents from other word processing software.  If I can’t read your file, I cannot give you credit for it! 


News Review Content:

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

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

Date published:

Author:       (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 stakeholders in 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.       How does this issue relate to environmental science?  How is science used to argue either side?  How can science explain how the problem arose?  Use concepts from class whenever possible. 

6.       What are the economic issues?  Are there 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. 

7.       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.)