In late February, the Knight Science Journalism Tracker’s Charlie Petit picked up an article that Vollmer wrote for SciTech about a Japanese inventor visiting North Carolina. Petit prefaced his post by pointing out that:

The Tracker, before the Raleigh News & Observer got rid of its science staff of one or maybe two (other than health and medical writers), used to see a steady flow of distinctively original reporting in it on high tech and science generally. Thus it is notable to find a piece today, even though from a writer labeled as a correspondent, which usually means freelancer.

Vollmer wrote to Petit the next day explaining that she was, in fact, one of seventy newsroom employees that he News & Observer laid off or bought out.

In that sense, new initiatives like the SciTech section and Science in the Triangle are somewhat bittersweet—replacing only some of what’s been lost. Still, they are very welcome and important steps in the right direction.

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Thomas K. Zellers is a CJR intern, currently studying economics and environmental science at Fordham University.