CNN has announced it's laying off its entire science and technology staff, eliminating seven positions. The staffers cut include Miles O'Brien, a pioneer in aggressive broadcast climate change reporting, and widely respected producer Peter Dykstra.
As the Columbia Journalism Review's Curtis Brainard writes, "the decision to eliminate the positions seems particularly misguided at a time when world events would seem to warrant expanding science and environmental staff."
The cuts are part of a broader trend in the news business -- cutting science reporting positions just as we reach a critical time in our relationship with the environment.
We're lucky we have websites and blogs to help fill the void. ClimateProgress.org, Grist.org, The Wonk Room and many others provide more comprehensive coverage than you could get from any broadcast news source.
But do those outlets have the resources to send staffers around the country and around the world to provide in-depth coverage? Unfortunately, no. Only the heavy hitters like CNN can do that. And while the network says it remains committed to its Planet in Peril series, the occasional special is no subsitute for continuing coverage.