Michigan Radio has received a $50,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to expand the station’s coverage of the Great Lakes and drinking water issues. This is part of Michigan Radio’s participation in the Great Lakes News Collaborative, an effort by four non-profit newsrooms to elevate discussion, amplify the voice of Michigan residents and produce action that protects the region’s waters for future generations. This is the second year of funding that the station has received from the Mott Foundation for this project.
Veteran Environment Reporter Lester Graham will continue to lead the production of these stories that have been distributed via Michigan Radio’s broadcast and digital platforms and shared with other Great Lakes News Collaborative participants (Detroit Public Television, Bridge Michigan and Circle of Blue) and public radio stations in Michigan.
Recent stories have included Great Lakes in Peril: Invasives, pollution, climate change, Lake Erie harmful algal blooms forecasted to be smaller this year, “Water is life” is the theme of Day 1 of protests to shut down Enbridge Line 5, as well as others.
The Great Lakes are one of the world’s largest sources of freshwater; but, many people living in the Great Lakes basin don’t have access to clean, affordable drinking water. Meanwhile, there is growing public opposition to laws and regulations that control industry’s use of the water and other natural resources.
Local and national research has shown that people want more and better environmental news coverage to stay informed about what is happening in their communities. As reported in a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, we also know that the media have more influence than any other source on adult Americans’ “thinking about the environment.” In an era of cutbacks and closures among journalism establishments, Michigan Radio is helping to fill the gap for residents living across the state.