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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Elma Yedda Gonzalez at 3:17PM   |  Add a comment
Food for 9 Billion

Live blog by Elma Gonzalez '14 Journalism, FLEFF Blogger, San Diego, CA

3 p.m., Park School Auditorium: Jonathan Miller, journalist, presents his lecture "The Journalist's Dilemma: How to boil the global food system down to spoon-sized servings without losing all its complexity and flavor at Ithaca College to an audience of students, faculty and community members.

Miller explains his latest project,"Food for 9 Billion," which explores how humans can feed themselves after population increases by another 2 billion people in the next century.

"Food for 9 Billion" spawns from a collaboration between several news outlets including the Center for Investigative Reporting, PBS Newshour, Marketplace radio, and Homeland Productions, Miller’s own production company. The project reveals the potential problems in food supply as the global population continues to increase and resources become more scarce.

He said what he discovered while covering this issue are a number of primary dueling narratives surrounding the "food" issue including whether the problem derives from supply or demand and whether it originates from the business model or technology. He lists a long number of "must-cover issues" that he and the team of journalists that worked on "Food for 9 Billion" had to keep in mind. The list is so long, he speeds through the slides. It is the most boring part of the presentation, he promises.  

He then asks: How do you take an issue with this complexity and turn it into a story you can present to readers? That is the journalist's dilemma, he says. 

The next part of his lecture presents several audio and video stories Miller produced for the project. His stories take him to places like India, Mexico, and Baltimore. 

Miller argues journalists should present stories in bite-sized audio, video, and print products to help the audience digest each story without being overwhelmed by the complexity of the topic. Journalists know stories are only a tiny part of the of the issue, he says.  

"You tell these little stories, but you always need to remind people of why," he said. 

The presentation concludes with a Q&A session. 

Miller will be on the Dissonant Environments panel with new media artists Leila Nadir and Cady Peppermint on Wednesday in Hill 104 at 7:00pm. He will also participate on the Annual FLEFF Lab on Friday at 1:00pm in Park 223.



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