Outdoors Writing: A Changing Field and Encompassing Role

This year’s Mass Comm Week features a session with Mike Leggett, outdoors writer for the Austin American-Statesman. Leggett will be speaking on a range of topics, including journalism’s changing model, environmental impacts and politics covered through outdoors writing.

One of the most important aspects for journalists to consider are the “ways that [you] can make [yourself] valuable for listeners,” said Leggett.

It is impossible to be objective, yet nobody wants to admit it, said Leggett. Once we can accept this, our opinions will become better-formed and also more accurate, he said.

Media companies have yet to find a way to make new revenue streams profitable for journalism, Leggett said. Leggett’s personal experience with this struggle between business and news can be told through his own history in media.

“The thing that saved small newspapers is local news,” said Leggett.

Leggett sees the Statesman moving toward increasing revenue through online content. One possibility is to sell specific areas of the paper.

“I think selling bits and pieces of our product – we will sell news, we will sell sports,” said Leggett.

Each story brings further insight into a world we do not read about enough, the outdoors. The importance of this topic has gained momentum with current environmental shifts and a changing political world.

 Leggett will speak Tuesday in OM 201 from 2-3:20.

By Anne Marie Herring

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