Dr. Kovarik Discusses The Importance of Science and Environmental Journalism

Bill Kovarik

By Dominic Catacora

Dr. Bill Kovarik, a journalism professor and author of Evolutions in Communication: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age recently spoke at the Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference held at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute in New York on March 11.

According to the conference’s website, the conference offered “participants the chance to explore new ideas, garner feedback on their work, and meet colleagues from around the world interested in journalism and communication history in a welcoming environment.”

Kovarik’s presentation was entitled, “Exploring the Historiography of Science and Environmental Journalism”.

In his abstract, Kovarik noted that, “Only a few historians have surveyed the field of science and environmental communication, and in many cases, 20th century histories have focused on traditional figures in environmental science (Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold) rather than the many journalists working within the larger structure of the mass media.”

“The main idea is that historians need to spend more time on science and environmental journalism, and so I’m giving an example of why I think that, and what methods could be used best, and then where new research is needed,” Kovarik said about his presentation.

Beyond his acclaimed book, Revolutions in Communication: Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age, which is used as a media history textbook, Kovarik has stellar scholarship in science and environmental journalism. He is also an active member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

As a professional with this background Kovarik gives an example of a New York Times blog by Andrew C. Revkin where he cites news articles from 1912 about climate change that contradict historical reports and claims of “global cooling”. Kovarik uses these historical instances in media and journalism to show where new research is needed. 

Mar 20, 2017
School of Communication