[Coral-List] Need for outreach (was whale shark)

David M. Lawrence dave at fuzzo.com
Mon Oct 13 17:05:26 EDT 2008

Dear all:

Allow me to send you excerpts from an e-mail exchange I had with an 
editor at a major metropolitan daily newspaper.  I was at the 
International Coral Reef Symposium in Fort Lauderdale -- at my expense 
-- and I offered to do some reporting from the meeting for my local 

For a bit of historical context, I sent my query on Tuesday, the day 
after the release of the NOAA report on the status of reefs in U.S. and 
affiliated waters. If the editor had been paying attention to the AP 
news budgets, he/she/it should have been aware of the importance of the 
meeting and the issues discussed at it.

I think the response from the editor illustrates quite well the need for 
effective outreach.



-- MY QUERY --


My name is Dave Lawrence.  I typically string for the sports department 
(ask XXX XXXXX or XXXXX XXXXX if they are around), but I am also a 
scientist and science writer.  I am at the International Coral Reef 
Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a major scientific meeting held 
every five years [My mistake -- DML] to discuss the status of the 
world's coral reefs.  XXX suggested I contact you to see if you are 
interested in a story on some of the research and policy issues 
discussed at this meeting.

Why should readers care?  As you probably know, reefs are important for
a variety of reasons -- biodiversity, fishing, and tourism, for example.
   Most Richmonders who travel to tropical locations do so in part to
view the rich sea life of the reefs.  Reefs are also among the most
threatened ecosystems on the planet, with overfishing, habitat
destruction, pollution, and ocean acidification being among the more
serious threats.  The latter, a by-product of the emission of carbon
dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels, is a bellwether of other
changes triggered by our global climate experiment.

Since you may not be familiar with my work, I have attached my resume.
I look forward to hearing from you.


Dave Lawrence


At this time, I don't have a need for a news story about reefs of 
Florida. We're focusing more on stories  that have impact closer to 
home. If your story has a more local focus, I would be happy to talk 
with you more about it.

  David M. Lawrence        | Home:  (804) 559-9786
  7471 Brook Way Court     | Fax:   (804) 559-9787
  Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | Email: dave at fuzzo.com
  USA                      | http:  http://fuzzo.com

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