"Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon sank and oil began erupting into the Gulf of Mexico in late April, the 105-year-old Audubon magazine did something that it had never done before—it sent a blogger to cover a breaking news event in real time.
Not that the historic first was the publications's primary objective or even on its editors' minds. 'It never even occurred to me,' said editor-in-chief David Seideman when asked about setting the new precedent. 'We were just so swept up in the moment.'
Indeed, Seideman continued, 'This oil spill is our Iraq War. It's a very big story because we've done a lot of work along the Mississippi Gulf. It's one of the most important bird areas in the country and one of the most environmentally rich areas on Earth. So, we have deep roots in that part of the country.'
Those roots are apparent in Audubon's special report on 'The BP Gulf Oil Disaster' (''Spill' seems much too dainty,' Seideman wrote in his editor's note), which appears in the September-October issue. The report contains a selection of dispatches from the magazine's Gulf Coast blogger, Justin Nobel (who was an intern at Audubon's New York offices before being sent to cover the spill), in addition to three longer features."
Curtis Brainard reports for Columbia Journalism Review September 16, 2010.