About the SERC Blog

serc blog

Contributing authors and anyone interested in joining the SERC blog staff, please contact Nils Jepson at serc@berkeley.edu

What is the SERC Blog?

The SERC Blog is a student-driven, online environmental news platform that covers campus, local, national and global sustainability stories. Student-produced articles are shared with and read by the UC Berkeley campus community and greater global community.

Follow the Blog at http://serc.berkeley.edu/blog and https://www.facebook.com/sercblog/. 


Mission and Goals:
We aim to provide:

  • A space for conversation, expression, and productive dialogue to occur
  • Publicity for environmental student groups, community organizations, events and activities
  • Up-to-date news, feature, and opinion stories about everything from food to education to climate to energy, as it relates to and affects the university community

We aim to uphold journalistic integrity by following the SPJ Code of Ethics.

Interested in getting involved? Learn more below or contact serc@berkeley.edu for additional information.

Join the SERC Blog Staff!

Why should I join the SERC Blog?
The clear presentation of complicated information is important for those who want to work within the field of sustainability. It can often be challenging to write about pressing environmental issues. The public conversation about sustainability is often divided and leads to stalemate in policy and action. Opening up a more diverse and inclusive conversation is extremely important. The SERC Blog is the perfect place for students to develop more effective environmental communications strategies through hands-on experience and practical media training. Bloggers will learn how to write clear and engaging environmental journalism pieces through collaboration and work-shopping. If students are interested in multimedia production, the SERC Blog also actively produces videos and photography in collaboration with staff writers. Interested students do not need to have any previous journalism experience.

 

The SERC Blog is Recruiting Contributing Student Writers

Have an opinion? The SERC Blog wants to publish it!
The SERC Blog is actively searching for contributing pieces from a variety of writers with a diversity of perspectives and opinions. If you are interested in contributing an op-ed focused on an environmental/sustainability topic, please follow these guidelines before submitting your article:

  1. Have a clear and concise argument. Op-eds are not academic essays. Editorialists need to express a well-developed opinion within 800 words or less. Stick to a single argument and build your case through sharp and clear evidence. Short paragraphs and concise writing help readers follow your logic. Op-eds are a great way to refine an argument and express yourself in a brief but convincing manner.
  2. Avoid offensive language. Op-eds are meant to spark conversation, not push the dialogue away. Avoid offensive language that may put audiences on the defensive from personal insult. Try to frame your argument as a systemic rather than a personal critique.
  3. Facts. Facts. Facts. Build your op-ed with solid evidence and facts. Be sure to translate statistics and science into “plain” language that is easy for readers with little-to-no background knowledge to digest and understand. Clarity should always be the goal!
  4. Avoid overt sarcasm.


Is your student environmental/sustainability group hosting an upcoming event or campaign? Do you know of a protest, film release, research, or other news event that you want to cover? The SERC Blog wants to publish it!

If you are interested in contributing a news piece, please follow these guidelines before submitting your article:

  1. Avoid opinion. The purpose of news pieces are to inform, not to express an opinion or point of view. News articles need to be objective. If you have a specific perspective you want to express, please submit an op-ed instead of a news article (guidelines for submitting an op-ed are outlined in the section above).
  2. Always include quotes! Interview material is essential for a good news piece. It’s important to get the full story and the best way to do that is to talk to as many people as possible.
  3. Accuracy is essential. News articles need to be 100% accurate. Be sure to fact-check.
  4. Clarity over cleverness. News pieces are meant to clearly inform readers of a specific event/occurrence. Short paragraphs, clear sentences and structure are vital. Start off with the “breaking” take-away point of info that readers absolutely need to know.Then, build the context as you proceed.


Please send all contributing pieces in the form of a Word document with at least two images to the SERC Blog Manager, Nils Jepson, at serc@berkeley.edu.

Expect a response within 24 hours from the Blog Manager and a publish turnover within 72 hours in variance with time sensitivity.

The SERC Blog holds the right to edit articles on the basis of grammar and ethical standards.

All inquiries can be directed to the SERC Blog Manager at serc@berkeley.edu.