INSTITUTES FOR JOURNALISM & NATURAL RESOURCES

Rating: 4.91 stars   126 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Environment

Location: 121 Hickory Street Suite 2 MIssoula MT 59801 USA

Mission: IJNR's mission is to encourage higher standards of journalism and improved newsroom performance so that citizens and communities can be kept better informed. The organization concentrates on fostering deeper understanding between journalists and such important communities as scientists, policy-makers and natural-resource producers and consumers.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

It was in the summer of 2000 that I went to Maine as a Fellow to learn to be a better natural resources reporter. The exposure to how to ask probing questions and to come up with a more complete understanding of complicated topics was extremely valuable. Like most reporters at small newspapers, I have to move quickly from one complex topic to another and get it right. And be able to pull readers into stories and topics and hold their attention. The travels tested my stamina, too. Unfortunately, Frank had to leave part-way through the trip to keep an eye on his house in Montana, threatened with wildfires. Otherwise I might have learned more about setting up a story. But it was a wonderful experience!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I took an eight-day trip in Maine to see salmon farms and wild salmon, blueberry barrens, forestry practices, lobstering, and many other natural resource stories.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure that IJNR had an endowment that would ensure its survival.

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Review from Guidestar
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

It was in the summer of 2000 that I went to Maine as a Fellow to learn to be a better natural resources reporter. The exposure to how to ask probing questions and to come up with a more complete understanding of complicated topics was extremely valuable. Like most reporters at small newspapers, I have to move quickly from one complex topic to another and get it right. And be able to pull readers into stories and topics and hold their attention. The travels tested my stamina, too. Unfortunately, Frank had to leave part-way through the trip to keep an eye on his house in Montana, threatened with wildfires. Otherwise I might have learned more about setting up a story. But it was a wonderful experience!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I took an eight-day trip in Maine to see salmon farms and wild salmon, blueberry barrens, forestry practices, lobstering, and many other natural resource stories.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make sure that IJNR had an endowment that would ensure its survival.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I received some of the best training I've ever had in journalism through IJNR. Frank and Maggie bring together informed and thoughtful experts in all realms of things environmental. They also manage to facilitate productive discussions among the journalist-participants.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the way it developed my reporting skills and knowledge about the environment and natural resources.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help it build more substantial infrastructure.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  


It’s no exaggeration to say that participating in an IJNR journalism fellowship was one of the most stimulating and enjoyable experiences I've had as a reporter and writer. With twenty years in the industry I’ve attended dozens of conferences and participated in many fellowships, but the IJNR expedition is truly unique.


In a time when traditional journalism seems to be a in a free fall, the IJNR field trip experience feels like a life raft. The chance to meet the experts and practitioners in their own element, to see science unfolding in an outdoor laboratory of nature, is exciting, and to experience the comradery of fellow journalists and mentoring of elders is invigorating as well.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

These expeditions were invaluable for several magazine features that I have currently in the works; I’ve turned to some of the scientists we met for expert advice since then. Two pieces that I’ve written on Mark Twain and American journalism, on the occasion of the release of his new Autobiography were indirectly inspired by the IJNR experience, and I have a third article in the works as well.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide more chapters around the country.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

It is a privilege to know first-had the lasting impact IJNR has on its participants, both as professionals and as people. When I first encountered IJNR, I had never had the opportunity to spend time with another reporter who wanted to specialize in environmental journalism. My nine-day journey with a busload of fellows supported and encouraged my commitment like nothing else could. Once the bus ride is over, IJNR fellows continue to challenge each other. I’m continually blown away by the outstanding contributions IJNR fellows are making to honest reporting that dodges preconceived notions and avoids easy conclusions. I am grateful for the investment IJNR makes in people.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my work as a reporter and my growth as a person.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to secure continuous, reliable funding.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

As a journalist, my fellowship with IJNR helped me see how much is possible in environmental reporting, and challenged me to meet the inherent promise in every story I tell. Our 10-day trip was intense. We covered hundreds of miles and talked about climate change, water use, hatcheries v. wild fish, logging practices, grazing standards, the reintroduction of wolves and more. We got to meet interesting people on all sides of every issue. I can't imagine how an organization could touch more hot topics and go more into depth. As the pressure builds -- on the natural environment and within the journalism industry -- the importance of IJNR will only rise.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

IJNR has changed -- for the better! - the way that I approach my job every day.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand it so that more journalists could participate.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

IJNR helped train me to do my job.
It is run by people who are respected in the field.
The 10 days I spent on this fellowship provided a wealth of information that informed my reporting for years to come.
IJNR staff continued to encourage me long after the fellowship ended.
At a time when newsrooms have fewer resources, nonprofits that assist them are crucial.
I've expressed my gratitude by donating to the organization and hope others will join me.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

environmental journalism

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The main issue for this organization is need for ongoing funding sources.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources is the best organization I have been associated with during my nearly 40 years in the field of journalism. Through intensive field trips, the IJNR staff creates for its fellows an experience that provides immediate professional development. Moreover, the staff manages to create a collegial atmosphere among recipients of fellowships so that the learning continues for years afterward. The seeds sown by IJNR continue to bear fruit in ways IJNR staff members do not even know about. It is a great organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

One of several ways my IJNR experience was beneficial is that it help refine my perspective regarding the interplay of natural resources and the industries that depend on natural resources. For example, in Georgia and South Carolina, we talked with workers in the forest and fishing industries.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Figure out a way to pump more grant money into IJNR so more journalists could benefit.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

IJNR organized a tour of environmental points of interest around Lake Erie in May, 2009 for a group of journalists, both English and French speaking from the U.S. and Canada. I was one of them. The experience was superb in every way. It was well organized, informative and provided a great opportunity to meet and disccus issues with other journalists and colleagues. The access to sites such as the large dairy operation in Michigan, fishery in Lake Erie, and power facilities near Niagara Falls was extraordinary. There were background briefings with leaders in a wide variety of environmental issues and there was particular care taken to provide many sides of each story. The tour was thought provoking and inspiring and did a great deal to promote more thoughtful environmental journalism. IJNR is an organization that should be strongly supported.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My daily work experience

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

This organization needs more resources. They do very good work, but those running the program I was involved with seemed to be overextended and could have used help.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I went on a 2007 IJNR expedition in Montana and found it incredibly helpful as a reporter newly arrived to the region. Frank and his team were able to stir up so many story ideas that almost four years later I'm still putting them to use. All in all a great organization providing a valuable service to reporters and the public.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My field of work

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Personally be more involved in it.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

There are few opportunities for journalists to get crucial hands-on experience in science and environmental topics. This is an amazing experience and an important pillar in the support of a well-educated press.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the breadth and depth of information it allows journalists to learn and experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

offer more fellowships.

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Review from Guidestar