Romm’s incredibly detailed piece about the Boxer amendments to Lieberman-Warner stands out. To work in newspaper form, the piece would require major editing—but the concept of doing a little science, crunching some numbers, and parsing legalese for the reader to understand represents top-notch journalism. Keith Johnson, blogging for the Wall Street Journal’s Environmental Capital, and Bradford Plumer blogging for The New Republic’s Energy & Environment also contributed solid reporting to the discussion of Lieberman-Warner.

To be fair, Romm is the editor of the blog Climate Progress, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. That’s why having less partisan professional journalists take a stab at the same kind of story is important.

The bottom line is that readers aren’t being served at all when partisans and lobbyists are doing the job of the press. Covering a bill like Lieberman-Warner takes more work than a standard 800-word who, what, where single-installment story. But with America finally on the verge of committing to specific reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, there’s plenty to write about—and a readership dying to know more.

 

Russ Juskalian is a contributor to The Observatory and a freelance writer.