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COAL SMOKE: When Day Was Night In St. Louis

A screenshot of the blog, "A Coal Black Sky." Photo by Bob Wyss.

A screenshot of the blog, “A Coal Black Sky.” Photo provided by Bob Wyss.

“The parents and grandparents of the people in St. Louis are the big heroes,” Bob Wyss said. “They looked at a problem and they resolved it, and they should be credited for what they did.”

Bob Wyss, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut, created a blog called, “A Coal Black Sky.” The blog is the story of how St. Louis overcame an air pollution problem in the late 1930s and early 1940s that was so intense the street lights had to be lit during the day due to coal smoke.

Photos taken by the city showing the railroads and other pollution over the city. Photo provided by Bob Wyss.

Photos taken by the city showing the railroads and other pollution over the city. Photo provided by Bob Wyss.

Wyss started the blog after running across information about The St. Louis Post-Dispatch winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1941 for public service for its crusading reporting on coal pollution.  “It’s really the first time a major award was given to a story that was purely an environmental story, and not only an environmental story, but an environmental pollution story.

Wyss is this week’s guest on “Behind The Editor’s Curtain” with Don Corrigan. Wyss and Corrigan discuss environmental information and more about the history and stories from “A Coal Black Sky.”

To hear the podcast interview with Bob Wyss, click on the link below.

Produced by Holly Shanks. Music provided by House of Cowboy.

St. Louis City Hall with some noticeable scarring. Photo by Bob Wyss.

St. Louis City Hall with some noticeable scarring. Photo by Bob Wyss.

 

To learn more visit, A Coal Black Sky website or connect with the Coal Black Sky Facebook page.

 

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One response to “COAL SMOKE: When Day Was Night In St. Louis

  1. It’s great to have Prof. Bob Wyss on Environmental Echo. He is a colleague from the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and we served on an SEJ panel together in New Orleans in 2014. His blog shows the importance of a strong daily newspaper taking a stand on a crucial issue: the air that you breathe. Daily newspapers have been beat up by mismanagement, the 2008 economic crash, and loss of revenue to digital media. I would argue that print newspapers need to be supported, because they are as indispensable as the air that you breathe. Do you really think a crusade, such as the one against the killer pollution of dirty coal, can be won on a bunch of digital tablet screens?

    Like

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