An internationally-recognized reporter whose work experience spans global warming policy making to political assassinations will instruct students during his weeklong residence at the University of Wisconsin starting Monday.
Bill Blakemore, an ABC News reporter with more than 40 years of experience, will speak to journalism classes for the week about the process of writing stories related to science as the latest member of the UW-Madison Science Writers in Residence Program, UW spokesperson Chris Barncard said.
He said Blakemore will share his experiences from five years of covering global warming and the important international policy decisions that influence climate change with political science and journalism students.
The UW-Madison Science Writer in Residence Program has hosted a visiting journalist each semester for the past 25 years. Individuals selected are primarily focused on the area of science in journalism and mass communication, Barncard said.
Unlike past speakers, Blakemore has covered many global events throughout his four-decade career, Barncard said, including earthquakes, floods, political assassinations and the entire 25-year tenure of Pope John Paul II.
“He’s got a pretty varied reporting background, and that makes him useful to a lot of people on campus who will be writing about [science-related] topics in the future,” Barncard said. “He’s kind of a Swiss army knife in that way.”
A selection committee composed of three UW professors from the journalism department selected Blakemore several months ago after a recommendation from the Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, Sharon Dunwoody, a member of the committee, said in an email to The Badger Herald.
Dunwoody, a UW journalism professor, said Blakemore’s journalism experience and scientific expertise made him the ideal candidate to instruct to journalism students interested in science.
“Having a senior network TV journalist on the premises will be wonderful,” she said. “Mr. Blakemore will be able to provide perspectives on the business of journalism that most faculty and even most local journalists cannot.”
Aside from speaking to classes, Blakemore will give a free public lecture on Wednesday, April 13 at 4:15 pm in the Humanities building, Barncard said, as part of the Weston Roundtable Series.