encouraged airing environmental news as a means of increasing audience market share. Since that time, the advice has been not to air news about the environment because it is not considered compelling to audiences, noted Ward. Part of the problem in environmental health reporting lies with scientists themselves, who sometimes contradict each other and give mixed messages in interpreting research results.
Some recent developments in environmental health reporting are encouraging. The Society of Environmental Journalists (www.sej.org) in Philadelphia is a professional fraternity of about 1,200 members. It counts among its members most of the print journalists who cover environmental news regularly, and it offers serious continuing education in environmental journalism. A counterpart in the broadcast community is the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation in Washington, DC, which has as its members about 750 local television and radio station editors who cover environment in particular. Also, some schools of science journalism have recently incorporated environmental journalism into their curricula. These developments may signal a new understanding of the importance of the media in educating the public about environmental health issues.