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New-media environment

I was impressed by the insights shared in the fall Scope’s “Shifting Media Market - place” feature. In particular, I was heart- ened to read Jay Jochnowitz’s salient dis- tillation of the often skewed climate- change debate: that giving equal air time to an expert speaking for the scientific community as to a nonscientist speaking for a fringe group “blurs the lines be- tween opinion and fact.”

Perhaps new media can play a pro- foundly important role. For example, the news and opinion flooding Twitter and Facebook may be transforming the national debate over the Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline, a project whose grave risks have been largely overlooked by mainstream news outlets. A well-funded, pampered fringe in favor of the project has engineered an argument that heavily weights energy independence as a bene- fit, but concerned citizens have been de- bunking their claims—online. Most im- portantly, the pro-environment message of this new breed of politically engaged online writers is reaching mainstream news consumers.

These writers and experts are reshap- ing the climate debate, and the collective weight of their position is influencing Congress and the White House. The pow - er of the people may reside in the most free and public of all presses—the ever- expanding universe that is the Internet. Stacy Clark ’84 Dallas, Texas

Skidmore News memories

I was interested to see the Skidmore News alumni in the fall Scope. Among my endeavors at Skidmore, the one I pursued with the most enthusiasm was writing and journalism, leading me to get involved with the newspaper in vari- ous ways.

As editor-in-chief in my senior year, I recruited some of my friends to join

the staff. And so, on the last leg of our college careers, we found ourselves hun- kered down in the basement of Jonsson Tower, staying up until the wee hours, cutting and pasting the old-fashioned way, assembling the Skidmore News. At first we knew little about how to pro- duce a weekly publication. But through trial and error—armed with a hot wax machine, black tape, and determina- tion—produce a paper we did. By year’s end we were responsible for some pretty nifty editions. After a master’s in journalism from Northeastern University, I landed at the Associated Press, where I stayed for the next 20 years. My experience at the Skidmore News was invaluable, as it had taught me teamwork, persistence, time management, and, most of all, quality journalism.

On a recent visit to Skidmore, I found that the landscaping, sparkling new per- formance center, new student housing, and modern dining hall were just some of the changes that have taken what was always a serene oasis and made it seem even more scenic and lush. Memories of my carefree college days working at the Skidmore News came flooding back. As the paper transitions to an online-only publication, it’s nice to know that it’s still capturing the tranquility of life and work at Skidmore, while keeping pace with the digital age.

Nancy Rabinowitz ’85 Jamaica Plain, Mass.

I greatly enjoyed your article on the Skidmore News writers of yore. I too was a part of the paper, and with my class- mate Ellen Knebel wrote “Skidmorania”


Scope welcomes letters to the editor. Send your comments by e-mail to or mail c/o Skidmore College. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.

and the movie reviews. We had a won- derful time amusing the students and ourselves with our nonsense, and my four years at Skidmore have remained a joy in my life.

Elinor Sloss Schatz ’42 Woodmere, N.Y.

Land and open space

I became engrossed in the spring ’11 Scope and read it in one sitting. As a board member of Concerned Citizens for Open Space, I found the “Field Guides” article particularly interesting. There must be other alumni involved with environmental matters. They are welcome to visit our Web site, wpccos .org. We would especially like to hear about solutions to such problems as overdevelopment.

Thank you for an informative and in- spiring magazine.

Nancy Hantman ’69 White Plains, N.Y.

Water research

The spring 2011 “Who, What, When” photo reminded me of my time sam- pling water on Loughberry Lake, con- ducting research between my sopho- more and junior years with faculty members Sue Van Hook and Kim Mar - sella. I recognize the Loughberry Lake shoreline, and in the background I be- lieve I can see the cattails and aquatic plants that I sampled in 2004. While the Scope photo looks like it shows a motor- boat, we used a rowboat. (Once, when we were far out on the lake and a thun- derstorm started coming in, Kim quickly offered to take over paddling—she was on a rowing team that summer.) We used the same devices, including the Secchi disk, as shown in this photo. Christina Schull ’06 Portland, Ore.


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