Partnership to expand News’ coverage of water issues

Courtesy Image This screen grab from the episode “The Battle Over Line 5” from Great Lakes Now shows a diver inspecting Enbridge Inc.’s Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. The News has partnered with GLN to share coverage of the big lakes.

With regular coverage of marine sanctuary research, Lake Huron’s fishing, and other recreational activity and watchdog journalism, The Alpena News daily newspaper brings readers the latest about a four-county Great Lakes community.

Through a new partnership with Great Lakes Now, those stories will reach a larger audience as they will be regularly published on the GreatLakesNow.org website. And Alpena News readers will see Great Lakes Now stories and be able to view segments from GLN’s monthly TV program on the paper’s website.

“We’re thrilled about this partnership,” said Justin Hinkley, publisher and editor of The Alpena News. “Lake Huron and the rest of the Great Lakes play an important role in the economy and quality of life for all of the residents in Northeast Michigan, and we’re excited to be able to bring them more quality journalism on the top from Great Lakes Now.”

The collaboration kicks off with two stories by Alpena News reporter Julie Riddle about whether northern Michigan is prepared for an oil spill, namely from Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac.

“This topic is perfect to launch our collaboration because GLN just released a full half-hour program dedicated to Enbridge Line 5, and The Alpena News is bringing a new in-depth report about potential impacts of that pipeline having a spill,” said GLN News Director Natasha Blakely.

The latest Great Lakes Now monthly show focused on the growing conflicts about the pipeline.

With pandemic precautions still being observed, the staffs of the News and GLN have not yet met, but plan to continue to collaborate remotely and learn more about stories and formats that resonate with audiences.

Other current Great Lakes Now collaborations include:



More than two dozen PBS channels around the Great Lakes region have aired the monthly program, and the San Bernardino, California, station aired an episode that explored the national issues of mining, dam removal and invasive carp. PBS stations also have contributed segments and footage to the program as well as co-hosted our Facebook watch parties that happen the last Tuesday of each month.



This ongoing initiative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.


As a global journalism collaboration aiming to strengthen coverage of the climate story, Covering Climate Now makes available to Great Lakes Now stories and video from around the world that are relevant to news about issues affecting the Great Lakes and drinking water.



With a network of more than 200 nonprofit newsrooms across the U.S., the mission of the Institute for Nonprofit News is to strengthen the sources of trusted news for thousands of diverse communities. The Pulitzer Center awarded INN a grant as part of the “Connected Coastlines” project, which INN in turn used to coordinate the project “From Rust to Resilience: What climate change means for Great Lakes cities” with GLN and several other newsrooms. GLN also regularly publishes articles from Flint Beat and MinnPost through the INN collaboration.


Produced by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, the Great Lakes Echo publishes articles about the Great Lakes and the environment reported and written by students. Great Lakes Now republishes the work and will host a summer intern from the program.


A formal collaboration is in development so watch for a published and broadcast project later this year. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Watch investigative editor Jim Malewitz joined the Great Lakes Now watch party to answer viewer questions about Enbridge and its work and controversies in the region.


First Fridays: Co-hosted by Belle Isle Conservancy, WDET-Detroit’s NPR station, and the International Institute for Sustainable Development – Experimental Lakes Area, this series of watch parties entertains and educates about Detroit’s Belle Isle, the Detroit River and related Great Lakes issues.

Last Tuesdays: As PBS stations in Detroit and Watertown, New York, air a new episode of the monthly program, GLN simultaneously offers a live watch party on Facebook. Co-hosted by numerous partners – they change each month depend on the subjects in the show.


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