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What Happened to Grist?

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJuly 30, 2009 7:04 AM


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Kudos to Grist for posting this rebuttal. I actually suggested such a thing yesterday on their site. Probably a coincidence. More likely they acted after seeing the dueling Huffington posts between Romm and TBI. Anyway, maybe this augurs a new chapter in Grist's reincarnation as...a more diverse group blog. I wish they never went in this direction in the first place--the blog format. They had carved out a nice niche by pioneering a new, compulsively readable brand of environmental journalism--something that was so desperately needed. What's happening over there now with the complete overhaul of the site strikes me as an identity crisis. Personally, I think they've squandered their hard-earned credibility by becoming just another outlet for environmental activists. Yes, they have bona fide journalists on staff (and talented ones), but in the new design there's no real differentiation between them and the Joe Romms and Lester Browns. I'm all for change, really. Every magazine and website has to reinvent itself to stay current. But in this case, Grist changed from a magazine to a friggin group blog. I mean, jeez, you all were doing essential work, running great packages on environmental justice, the "death of environmentalism" controversy, etc. Nobody else gave such issues an immediacy and fresh take. If you had to become something else, why not morph into an environmental version of Slate? You were already halfway there! Now what are you? Climate change central, 24/7. Is that the best you can think up?

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