Communicating with Impact

Communicating environmental change

To help Hoosiers be informed about environmental change in Indiana and around the world, ERI partnered to launch new reporting efforts in public media, independent journalism, and podcasting. These professional storytelling initiatives led to award-winning journalism that brought attention to local, national, and international environmental issues that are commonly overlooked national media and the public .

Past initiatives include:

In This Climate

In This Climate is an environmental news podcast featuring scientists and others who are working toward climate solutions. Jointly supported by ERI and The Media School at IU, the podcast includes on-the-ground features and perspectives from leaders in climate science and environmental policy.

At one point releasing around 50 episodes a year, In This Climate has been downloaded more than 30,000 times since its 2019 debut and won the 2021 Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists “Best Radio Documentary and Special” award.

Former ITC producer Emily Miles said, with each episode, the podcast strives to empower listeners to think critically about their relationship with the environment. As one listener described, In This Climate “feels like a friend in globally difficult times.”

Listen to a selection of Miles’ favorite ITC episodes


Indiana Public Media

With ERI’s support, Indiana Public Media expanded its coverage of environmental and energy issues in Indiana by hiring a dedicated reporter. The investment made the media company one of the few organizations in the state with a staff member focused exclusively on the environment.

Beginning in 2018, IPM’s Rebecca Thiele reported environmental stories that aired on public broadcast outlets across the state, reaching approximately 2.5 million Hoosiers per week. Since then, Thiele has received three awards for TV environmental reporting—taking second place in 2021 and both second and third in 2020. She was also part of "From Rust to Resilience," an award-winning collaborative reporting project focused on climate change in the Great Lakes region.

Thiele said one of her favorite reporting assignments led to a two-part series on how coal plant closures affect the cities that host them and how they plan to move forward.


Indiana Environmental Reporter

Launched in 2018 by ERI and The Media School at IU, the Indiana Environmental Reporter (IER) was an independent reporting organization focused on environmental issues throughout the state. More than 100 different publications republished IER content on their platforms during its existence.

Before IER ended operation in June 2023, its reporters garnered recognition for environmental reporting from Indiana’s Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Federation of Press Women. In 2020, the organization released “In the Water,” a documentary focused on Indiana’s electric utilities and the environmental hazards of storing toxic coal ash. The film debuted at the 2020 Indy Film Festival.

Other noteworthy efforts include reporting on lead exposure suffered by residents of East Chicago’s West Calumet housing complex.

Updated July 17, 2023