International

An Endless ‘Silent Spring’? Find Out on a Spring Walk (With the Birders)

To better understand troubled bird populations and the many forces undermining them, grab some binoculars and a notebook, and catch up with your local birders, including the burgeoning number of minority birders. That’s the advice from the latest TipSheet, which offers reporting resources and numerous story ideas, including the impacts of climate change, habitat loss, water access and the “insect apocalypse.” 

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Global Satellite Data IDs Tensions Between Food Production, Biodiversity

A recent study of global cropland expansion highlights several trends that are ripe with environmental news stories. One finding: New farm fields have taken over an area the size of Texas and California combined since the start of the century, an expansion primarily affecting biodiversity-rich natural ecosystems, with Africa leading the cropland boom. Freelancer Gabriel Popkin explores the latest data and the reporting possibilities.

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#SEJ2023 Annual Conference, Boise, Idaho, April 19-23

Save the dates! SEJ's 32nd Annual Conference takes place in Boise, Idaho, April 19-23, 2023, hosted by Boise State University. Tour sneak peek and other information is coming soon! Keep up to date: sign up for conference info.

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Grantee Wades Into Surprising Blue-Green Algae Problem

A chance encounter with a social media post from a retired government official led environmental journalist Sharon Oosthoek on a virtual, pandemic-era journey deep into the waters of Lake Superior to chase down an algal bloom. In her contribution to FEJ StoryLog, Oosthoek shares how she leveraged the tip into a grant that allowed her and her TV channel partner to produce a multi-part text, video, engagement and teaching project.

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How Ireland’s Tree Farms, Licensed With Little Environmental Assessment, Harm Biodiversity, Rural Communities

A crowdsourced, crowdfunded investigation on the damage caused by the spread of commercial spruce plantations, both to the biodiversity-rich areas of Ireland and the isolated farming communities where they are planted, was the subject of an award-winning report from journalist Niall Sargent. Find out how he ID’d the problem, overcame investigative challenges and ultimately told a human-centered, data-rich story. Our latest Inside Story Q&A.

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A Castoff Bumper Leads to a Literary ‘Autobiography’ of Plastic

Environmental writer Allison Cobb, in “Plastic: An Autobiography,” tells the story of the ubiquitous material through a series of interwoven narratives that range from her own experiences with it (including a discarded plastic car bumper), to the corporate origins of its spread and the way it’s now dangerously carpeting nature and damaging human communities. Contributor Nano Riley has a review in our new BookShelf.

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How — And Why —To Avoid Jargon When Covering Climate

Climate change reporting is sometimes peppered with jargon that confounds rather than clearly communicates. Audiences may miss not just one story’s message, but lose interest in the broader topic. Contributor Rebecca Hersher, a science reporter for National Public Radio, writes how the public’s connection with climate information increases when both journalists and scientists strive to replace elite terminology with simple and accurate language.

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