The Post’s main national science/health/environment staff includes an editor in charge of science and six reporters: four in the medicine/health arena (including one in health policy); a new Food and Drug Administration agency reporter; a science reporter covering space/astronomy; and a national environment writer. Three national science reporters have left in staff buyouts in recent years. Metro has a local environmental reporter, but its local health slot is vacant. A Food and Drug Administration agency reporter was added recently but may stay with the national desk, and the financial desk’s energy reporter is reportedly unlikely to join the new science, health, and environment team.

Not surprisingly, there is apparently mixed reaction in the newsroom to Spayd’s charge, with some excited about the change and others reluctant to leave their current editorial homes.

Like many papers, the Post is also experimenting with new models for getting specialty content. Last year, it signed a content-sharing agreement with Grist, a Seattle-based nonprofit online environmental news site that also provides content to several other Web sites.

Cristine Russell is a CJR contributing editor and the president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing and a senior fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She is a former Shorenstein Center fellow and Washington Post reporter.