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Yale to Launch Online Environmental Magazine


New Haven, Conn. — The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies is launching an online magazine that aims to become one of the world’s leading sites for authoritative, cutting-edge opinion, commentary and in-depth reporting on the major environmental issues of the day.

The Web publication, YaleEnvironment Online, will be edited by Roger Cohn, the award-winning former editor of Mother Jones and Audubon magazines. In announcing Cohn’s appointment, Gus Speth, the school’s dean, said, “The time is right for a global publication that will serve as a forum for provocative writing and thinking on ways to tackle urgent environmental challenges.”

Speth noted that the magazine, which will begin publication this spring, is coming online at a moment of unprecedented concern about environmental issues, sparked in large measure by growing evidence of the effects of global warming. That intensifying interest, coupled with the virtual nature of YaleEnvironment Online, has created an opportunity to publish a journal that will appeal to an international audience of policy makers, scientists, journalists, environmental activists and general readers.

Cohn said the online magazine will welcome op-ed-type articles from a wide variety of sources and will publish opinion and reported pieces written by some of the world’s leading scientists and researchers, environmental journalists and writers. Taking advantage of the online format, the site will present multimedia content, including video and audio that will feature reports from the field and interviews, as well as panel discussions, blogs by guest writers and interactive graphics. YaleEnvironment Online also will highlight noteworthy articles and documents from outside sources and will provide comprehensive background summaries of pressing environmental topics.

“We believe that there is a need for a dynamic Web publication, international in its reach, that will provide authoritative journalism, sound science and informed opinion and analysis on the environment,” said Cohn. “YaleEnvironment Online will deliver first-rate reporting and commentary and will help make the science of environmental issues understandable and accessible to a worldwide audience.”

The site will provide an important connection between the academic community and other communities working on environmental issues, but it will be written for a general audience. Using the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies as a springboard, YaleEnvironment Online will establish contacts with academics and environmental experts at universities and organizations around the world and will invite them to contribute to the site. The magazine also will seek contributions from leading thinkers in foreign affairs, international development, “green” business and the environmental movement.

Launching a global, online environmental magazine is in keeping with two major goals of Yale and its president, Richard C. Levin: making the university an increasingly international institution and intensifying its focus on environmental issues. YaleEnvironment Online is being funded in part by grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

“Yale is working on many fronts to be one of the world’s leading green universities,” Levin said. “With YaleEnvironment Online, it will move to the forefront of reporting on and finding solutions to the most pressing environmental issues of our time.”

Cohn comes to YaleEnvironment Online from a distinguished career in magazine and newspaper journalism, much of it focused on the environment. During his tenure as editor-in-chief at Mother Jones, from 1999 to 2005, he revitalized the magazine, focusing on in-depth investigative reporting and top-quality writing and winning the prestigious National Magazine Award for General Excellence. Under his editorship, Mother Jones’s circulation rose to an all-time high, and the magazine frequently broke stories that received national attention, including an award-winning series on the Bush administration’s environmental record.

Prior to that, Cohn was executive editor of Audubon from 1991 to 1998, helping lead the magazine during a period when it became nationally known for its cutting-edge environmental reporting. He had previously been a staff writer at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he served as one of the nation’s first environmental reporters.

A graduate of Yale College, Cohn has written widely for numerous publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine and Outside. He has also been a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.


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