“Climate change is coming now, it’s here,” states Joe Amditis, the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media. Last Saturday SCM students who are a part of the collaborative journalism initiative attended the NJ College News Climate change trip to Duke Farms. The latest event in a project that kicked off in the summer of 2019 was a field trip seminar last Saturday for students to delve deeper into the climate change initiative. Amditis considers the trip a “round two” of the project launch. “I wanted to hold the event during the school semester. And before students wanted to take on the bulk of work, they wanted to bring people together again by going to a nature preserve. This allowed students to focus on solidifying and codifying relationships and partnerships with the other university students.”
Students from other universities who are apart of the NJ College News Climate Change cohort consist of NJIT, The College of New Jersey, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rowan University, and New Jersey City University. The Climate Change trip was hosted at Duke Farms in Hillsborough Township, NJ, a 2,700 acres eco-friendly preserve owned by the Duke’s Farm Foundation. Previously an estate that was owned by a Tobacco company is now a model for sustainable and environmental infrastructure.
The students were led on a tour by Duke Farms Deputy Executive Director Jon Wagar. “Showing up on a Saturday was great, once we provided a tour of Duke Farms and identified ways in which climate change impacts the environment. The students got to see the Sugar Shack, and it’s the perfect example of a “dinner table issue.” In addition, during the third week in February the initiative has scheduled a trip to the Maple Syrup festival, an example of how climate change is affecting the conditions of maple syrup production. Amditis hopes the project will make students more sensitive to the impacts of climate change and how it encompasses the local, global and international levels.
“My hope is that this will lead to a short-term co-produced piece about journalism. In the long term, it will form a basis for a collaboration mindset. Collaborative reporting to build a collaborative mindset,” says Amditis.
Through the Center for Cooperative Media, Amditis strives to cultivate stories where students can continue to develop their journalism skills and write pieces where “Local News Matters.”