The Star Tribune has turned to a very experienced health reporter to replace its very experienced environmental reporter.
Journalism-watchers and environmental advocates were, to put it mildly, concerned when Meersman was moved, but Marcotty is a reassuring choice. She’s tough-minded and a pro digger — and having a reporter with years of health-beat knowledge is a huge leg up for covering the environment. She’ll also keep working for her current editor, Dave Hage.
It remains to be seen how well Marcotty will be at the 21st-century hamster wheel of, as the job description put it, “creating environmental coverage for print, online, social media and digital platforms, employing video, Twitter and blogs to build a broad public understanding and conversation on one of the central issues of our time.”
This does raise the question of how well the Strib will cover health issues now. Maura Lerner and Warren Wolfe remain on the team, and gained a new teammate of sorts this summer when the Strib swiped PiPress health guy Jeremy Olson.
However, it’s important to note that Olson’s beat is “children and families,” not strictly health. The Strib has a number of general assignment and investigative reporters available, but they’re stretched too, so the coming months will bear watching.
Interestingly, Olson and Marcotty were tangled up an incident involving this summer’s nursing strike. A nurse’s union spokesman alleged Marcotty crashed a closed union meeting while specifically praising Olson. Marcotty said she identified herself, and union spokesman later apologized for his outburst. If Marcotty spreads that aggressiveness around on her new beat, readers concerned about the environment will be well-served.