‚ÄčIn yet another sign of the dwindling newspaper business, the New York Times recently announced that it will close its environmental desk & reassign its current environmental reporters to other desks. While the Times' assures its readers that it will embed environmental coverage in its local, national and business coverage, it's still painful to think that the hard-hitting reporting on this ever-so important topic will change-or dare we say decrease. Some media critics argue that the move could be good for environmental news-such as climate change-because by taking it out of the isolation of being a strictly environmental issue it will show readers how climate change permeates throughout society. The truth is only time will tell what this move means for the paper's environmental news coverage, but the environmental desks' death speaks to a broader trend in journalism that has been gripping newspapers across the country for years: the death of the beat reporter. As former reporter for The Baltimore Sun David Simon argues in a blog post earlier this year, beat reporting is essential to civic society and is needed to do good journalism. It takes reporters years to truly delve into an industry, government body or organization to be able to truly expose true stories. The environment and climate change, which are filled with stakeholders trying to influence the conversation from so many sides, deserve dedicated reporters, so I suspect the coverage will suffer because of the move. So while newspapers continue to shift from beat reporting to make more “structural” and likely more economic sense, does it make journalistic sense? And sense for the public good? By Kate Plourd, Senior Account Executive at Solomon McCown & Company