COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Oct. 26) – Why is it so difficult for journalists to report on the environment – and especially climate change?  It’s an issue being discussed this week in Bratislava, Slovakia by Merrill College Associate Professor of Investigative Journalism Deborah Nelson.

Among a number of events, Nelson  lectured at Comenius University about climate change and talked to journalism students there.

Nelson – a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, has been reporting about the environment her entire life.  As recently as 2014, she was part of a major investigation for Reuters – called “Water’s Edge“- looking at rising sea levels caused by global warming. The report won numerous accolades – including a $20,000 National Academy of Sciences award. A new project with Reuters will look at antibiotic resistance infections.

Watch Professor Nelson’s speech titled “How to Report on a Changing World” at Comenius University:

Talking to the Slovak Spectator, she talked about not only climate change but also “the challenges that journalists face nowadays.”

During the interview, Professor Nelson was asked why journalists don’t know how to report on environmental issues:

“Many of us aren’t well grounded in science and statistics. Many journalists are scared away from reporting on environmental issues for that reason. I have done many science-based and data-driven projects and I had to learn those skills. I don’t consider myself an expert, but I’m always careful to consult those who are. There is a real need for journalists to learn science and in fact I’ve proposed a statistics course for journalism students.”

Read the entire interview in the Slovak Spectator.