The Environment Report is a news service committed to revealing the relationship between the natural world and the everyday lives of people. This is accomplished by thoughtful and provocative explorations of the environment in a way that reaches the widest possible audience.
The Environment Report was established to meet the need for better coverage of the environment by public radio stations. In 1993, a diverse group of public radio outlets began planning a regional environmental news service that would redefine environmental reporting in the Upper Midwest. National Public Radio's Living on Earth, Michigan Public Radio, and the Superior Radio Network partnered together to develop the structure for this weekly news service. The goal was to establish a news feed of high-quality environmental features that could be inserted into the local news programming of public radio stations.
In September of 1995, The Environment Report's predecessor, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium (GLRC), produced its first environmental news feed for public radio stations. At that time the news service was based at the studios of Michigan Public Radio in East Lansing, MI and was carried by 23 stations.
In April, 1996, the news service moved to the studios of Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor. Over the next couple of years, the GLRC began to grow and to earn industry respect.
By the end of 1996, 50 stations were carrying the service.
In 1997, the GLRC began to be noticed around the country after winning 8 national awards. These awards led to greater station carriage as well as more participation from station-based producers.
In the summer of 2006, the GLRC became known as The Environment Report. The name change reflected the organization's expanding list of participating stations as well as its expanded coverage of environmental issues.
Two years later, The Environment Report's producers embarked on a new effort - transitioning the weekly news service into a daily news service. As part of that effort, a daily four-minute show was developed with assistance from Jim Russell (creator of Marketplace) and public radio program directors and news directors around the country. In addition to the show, the news service released stand-alone feature and spot news reports every weekday.
The Environment Report's producers have also dedicated themselves to improving public radio reporting system wide by providing extensive training to more than 100 mid-career public radio producers. Since 1996, this training has been led by renowned Canadian Broadcasting Corporation veteran, David Candow. Candow's philosophy on public radio reporting continues to be a central part of the news service's commitment to personal relevance in its reporting.
The news service has won more than 90 state, national, and international awards for journalistic excellence. The Environment Report is now a four minute segment which airs twice weekly on Michigan Radio and Interlochen Public Radio. Rebecca Williams is the host and chief reporter. Mark Brush edits stories, and reporters from Michigan Radio and Interlochen Public Radio contribute stories to the segment.
The success of The Environment Report would not have been possible without generous financial support from several key foundations. The Joyce Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the George Gund Foundation were all on board at the start. This service would not have been possible without their exceptional vision and leadership. Additional support from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Park Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service has continued to be a cornerstone of our growth. We look forward to continued success in providing high quality environmental news to public radio stations around the nation.