NPR’s Dan Charles on Grist’s GMO reporting

GMO Kill Gene

An example of the sort of issue Johnson has examined in his work. Image by ALT Headlines via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-ND 2.0)

One of my favorite NPR reporters, Dan Charles, recently penned a piece about Grist’s coverage of genetically modified organisms. As he describes,

A 26-part series on genetically modified food was not Nathanael Johnson’s idea. And he didn’t realize it would take six months, either.

Last year, Johnson was hired as the new food writer for Grist, a website for environmental news and opinion. Grist’s editor, Scott Rosenberg, was waiting with an assignment: Dig into the controversy over GMOs.

GMOs “were a unique problem for us,” says Rosenberg. On the one hand, most of Grist’s readers and supporters despise GMOs, seeing them as a tool of corporate agribusiness and chemical-dependent farming.

On the other hand, says Rosenberg, he’d been struck by the passion of people who defended this technology, especially scientists. It convinced him that the issue deserved a fresh look.

“When I met Nathanael, I thought, ‘This is a writer who could do this really well,’ ” recalls Rosenberg.

For the full essay, including links to Johnson’s work, head here.

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