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Teaching Millennials to Engage THE Environment instead of THEIR Environment: A Pedagogical Analysis
Unformatted Document Text:  collaborative, open-minded, influential, and achievement-oriented. 23 Howe describes them as confident, happy, and optimistic, adding, that Millennials are “risk-averse, … and like to work with the best and latest high-technology gadgets.” 24 Other scholars have described this generation as confident, self assured, with high self-esteem and an optimistic outlook on life. 25 Millennials tend to be described as self-absorbed, expecting to be able to choose what kind of education they buy, and what, where, and how they learn. 26 The learning preferences identified by Oblinger, Brown, Weiss and Zemke include traits such as teamwork, experiential activities, structure, and the use of technology. 27 The risk-aversion characteristics inherent in the Millennial Generation make educating them about complex social systems like science and environmental issues difficult. Risk assessment in environmental reporting is a particularly important challenge for journalists, and the lack of clear risk assessment has been an historic criticism of environmental coverage in the news media. 28 Adding to this problem the general naivety about judging authoritative sources and institutional credibility among Millennial students paints a concerning picture for the prospect of training contemporary university students on the topic of environmental journalism. As one longtime environmental journalist observed, covering the environment is far more difficult than the average news story: Given the complex nature of environmental sources, ranging from scientists and economists to political activists and even some who use terror tactics, the playing field is not only not even but encumbered by furrows and bumps that make it difficult to scope out the players and what they are doing. 29 Another journalist described the daunting task of navigating competing voices as the 5

Authors: Stevens, Rick. and Crow, Deserai.
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collaborative, open-minded, influential, and achievement-oriented.
 Howe describes 
them as confident, happy, and optimistic, adding, that Millennials are “risk-averse, … 
and like to work with the best and latest high-technology gadgets.”
 Other scholars have 
described this generation as confident, self assured, with high self-esteem and an 
optimistic outlook on life.
Millennials tend to be described as self-absorbed, expecting to be able to choose 
what kind of education they buy, and what, where, and how they learn.
 The learning 
preferences identified by Oblinger, Brown, Weiss and Zemke include traits such as 
teamwork, experiential activities, structure, and the use of technology.
The risk-aversion characteristics inherent in the Millennial Generation make 
educating them about complex social systems like science and environmental issues 
difficult. Risk assessment in environmental reporting is a particularly important challenge 
for journalists, and the lack of clear risk assessment has been an historic criticism of 
environmental coverage in the news media.
  Adding to this problem the general naivety 
about judging authoritative sources and institutional credibility among Millennial 
students paints a concerning picture for the prospect of training contemporary university 
students on the topic of environmental journalism. As one longtime environmental 
journalist observed, covering the environment is far more difficult than the average news 
story:
Given the complex nature of environmental sources, ranging from scientists and 
economists to political activists and even some who use terror tactics, the playing 
field is not only not even but encumbered by furrows and bumps that make it 
difficult to scope out the players and what they are doing.
Another journalist described the daunting task of navigating competing voices as the 
5


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