Middlebury

Noted environmental reporter Ted Conover will speak September 16

September 3, 2009

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? At 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, veteran journalist Ted Conover will discuss his reporting methods and read from his forthcoming book, "The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today." The talk is free and open to the public and will take place in the Orchard Room at the Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest at Middlebury College, located on College Street (Route 125).

Conover, who spent a year working underground as a guard at Sing-Sing in order to write his 2001 book, "Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing," is this fall's visiting reporter for the Middlebury Fellowships in Environmental Journalism. Each year the fellowships, funded by a private grant, give $10,000 to 10 early-career journalists to defray reporting expenses, and guide them through the reporting and writing process for the following year. Fellows are chosen on the basis of the stories they propose and their writing samples, including two Middlebury undergraduates, who receive $4,000. The fellows gather in September at Bread Loaf and in the spring at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, to discuss their stories with visiting reporters like Conover, director Bill McKibben and associate director Christopher Shaw.  

Conover's "Newjack" won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001. Known for his immersive style of journalism, Conover has traveled with hoboes and with "coyotes," who smuggle people across the border from Mexico, for previous writings. For "The Routes of Man," he traversed some of the world's most remote and rugged roads in a variety of ways, including riding on the back of a fuel truck crossing the Andes on his way to find illegal mahogany loggers on the Amazon. He also traveled in China, India and Brazil.

A 1981 summa cum laude graduate of Amherst College, Conover spent the following two years at Cambridge University as a Marshall Scholar. In 2001, he received an honorary doctorate from Amherst and, in 2003, a Guggenheim Fellowship. In recent years he has taught at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the University of Oregon. He is currently a distinguished writer in residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute of New York University. He contributes to publications including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and many others.

 "We're enormously honored to have Ted Conover as our visiting reporter," said McKibben. "He's a great teacher and everything you look for in a reporter and a story teller." 
    
For more information, contact Associate Director of the Fellowships in Environmental Journalism Christopher Shaw at cshaw@middlebury.edu.