Lots of other people analyze news events or issues, commenting on why something is happening and what its impact might be.

Dissecting the News does not. Instead, we dissect the mechanics of news stories, paying close attention to how the various parts of the stories work together — or don’t. In addition, we focus only on stories with environmental or public health themes.

We welcome your comments and subscriptions. Please help us explore how we can do a better job drawing public attention to important environmental and public health topics — and how we can take advantage of the tremendous opportunities created by the current revolution in our conceptions of what is news, who is a journalist, and how should information be gathered and shared.

In addition, we will be addressing questions such as: Does a particular story do a good job of grabbing attention? Does the creator of the story put the new information in broad context, making it relevant to a wide range of people? Are the quotes compelling? Does the story raise a lot of unanswered questions ? What about the end of the story, known as the kicker? Does it leave the audience with a memorable fact or quote?

Dissecting the News  is a project of Environ 320, a University of Michigan course also known as Environmental Journalism: Reporting about Science, Policy and Public Health. The course is taught by Emilia Askari and Julie Halpert, two journalists and teachers who have more than 40 years combined experience gathering and presenting news.


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