News | April 22, 2019

SELC launches new podcast, Broken Ground

Broken Ground host discusses podcast creation

Today SELC launched a new podcast, Broken Ground, digging up environmental stories in the South that often get overlooked, and giving voice to the people bringing those stories to light. For a closer look into the podcast and its creation, we talked with SELC Program Communications Manager and Host of the podcast Claudine Ebeid McElwain.

Listen and subscribe to Broken Ground here.

Claudine Ebeid McElwain, Host of Broken Ground and Program Communications Manager in SELC's Virginia Office

How did the idea come about for this podcast?

SELC and its partners have always been committed to telling the stories of people in the South and how they are directly affected by environmental decisions being made across our region. Because my background is in journalism, I think I approached many of the cases our attorneys work on from that perspective. And it became clear to me early on that it was an insurmountable hurdle to expect our local and regional reporters to keep up with the number of environmental stories out there. After sitting down with members of the communication team and thinking through some of the best ways to get those stories told, it became clear that taking advantage of the recent boom in podcasting was an opportunity for us to do just that.

What does SELC hope to accomplish with this podcast?

There are so many heroes in the conservation movement in the South and often we don’t get to hear the voices of those people fighting on the front lines. We hope to help people learn more about what’s happening to our environment in the South and connect in a personal way to the people who are doing important work to care for these special places. Broken Ground also aims to bring to light the stories of people who bear the burden of our environmental abuses.

How do you find these stories?

The attorneys at SELC do an amazing job of getting all the facts and doing the critical analysis needed in the court rooms and in the policy meeting rooms, but they also build important relationships with people and communities that are directly affected by environmental policies, injustices, and disasters. Through their work, our communications team has an incredible perspective on the environmental landscape in the South, as well as helpful connections. Our attorneys are busy fighting the legal fights necessary to improve our region and the work they do unearths an incredible amount of information and stories about people that the public should know about. That’s where the podcast comes in.

Why do think this podcast is important?

Over the years we have seen the number of reporters dedicated to covering local and regional news dwindle, creating a strain on the ability of newsrooms to do the kind of investigative reporting needed to uncover environmental stories at the local level. With Broken Ground, we hope to fill some of that void here in the South so that people can be informed about both environmental problems and successes that are happening in their communities and get to hear the voices of some of our neighbors working at the heart of these issues.

Listen to Episode 1 wherever you get your podcasts or at