Speaking as the news editor at my college (plus an intern at several large daily newspapers), I think it depends on the audience. If your audience is any of the following things, then I think an environmental section would be read – highly educated, politically active, very democratic.
Now I would say that there isn’t a need for an entirely new section for the environment. It’s more of things that get covered as they appear and put into the news section. Maybe though it would be good to further label these articles as “environmental” though.
Sustainability issues are becoming increasingly popular and mainstream. So if you market it correctly, an environmental section could not only be popular, but could also be beneficial. People could use that section to share tips on green living and begin to unite behind the cause. Newspapers already print many articles about the environment and I think a whole section could be quite successful if it was marketed correctly.
I know that I would definitely read an environmental section in the newspaper. Issues surrounding the environment are going to play a big role in the future, and I think that readers will want to be informed of innovations and ideas. Additionally, an environmental section would make readers who are not interested in environmental news more aware of what is happening to the planet.
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