May 2010 Archives

Sam Cook answers two questions

After Sam Cook concluded his lecture and left, my classmates and I come up with additional questions for him. During an e-mail exchange I asked Sam Cook two of these questions while asking him his thoughts on the Lakewalk. Sam Cook's answers to our questions are posted below.

1. How many notebooks do you use in one year?

I probably use 50-75 reporter's notebooks a year. At least one a week, usually more. I try to use one for more than one story, although organizationally, it's more convenient to use one per story.

2. Do you have a neat or messy desk?

I keep a pretty neat desk. A couple of piles (one for story ideas, notes from recent stories, other ideas) and another for publications I mean to read or try to keep up on. Those piles can grow a bit out of control sometimes, requiring a monthly purge. Beyond those piles, I keep couple of calendars, a few family pics, several reference books and a few rocks that I've picked up on various trips.

It's the corn subsidies, stupid

Just when I thought our class reading could not get any weirder, we get to read Michael Pollan's Power Steer. Pollan does a good job of taking us though the life cycle of a 21st Century steer, from oil, to corn, to cow, to our dinner table. But, Pollan did not talk about the powerful corn lobby and the powerful influence it has on Congress to keep their federal subsidies for corn.

Clearly, Pollan favors grass fed cows over corn fed cows. Should any journalist advocate for a position, rather than just listing the facts and letting the reader make up his or her own mind?

By the way, what does Pollan mean when he wrote that in waterways downstream of feedlots, scientists found fish exhibiting abnormal sex characteristics?

Here is a link to the Corn Refiners Association Internet page.

http://www.corn.org/

Prescription for Trouble: Using Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock

http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_industrial_agriculture/prescription-for-trouble.html

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2010 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.