With wildfire exploding across the West this season, it may not be long before insurance companies worried about houses built along the wildland-urban interface try to raise premiums or drop policies altogether. It’s already happening in California, which is pushing back. Will it happen in your region as well? TipSheet has the backstory, plus a range of reporting resources.
Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)
"North Dakota, where Covid-19 rates are surging, is redirecting the federal relief money, turning it into grants that will go directly to oil companies."
"North Dakota officials say they want to repurpose $16 million in federal coronavirus aid and spend it on grants to encourage fracking instead of using it to clean up abandoned oil well sites."
They’ve long been a staple of the news business. But now, with the pandemic continuing to keep journalists from their subjects, remote video interviews have become an essential tool. And even newbie video reporters can quickly learn the basics. Science video producer Eli Kintisch shares a quick eight-step remote video setup and some simple tricks of the trade, in this SEJournal how-to.
"Monday’s derecho across the Corn Belt and Midwest laid siege to more than 10 million acres of Iowa’s corn and soybean crop, devastating farmers and capping off what has already been a difficult few years of farming for many."
"Even for a pandemic, Main Street is quiet, maybe the quietest it's been during the decade of furious construction that built western North Dakota's Bakken oil fields into the second largest oil-producing region in the nation."
"In the midst of uprisings against police brutality across the U.S., Iowa legislators quietly passed a bill on Friday to increase penalties for animal rights activism that has targeted the factory farming industry. Debates in both the state House and Senate were followed rapidly by votes in favor of the legislation. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature."
With drought can come fire, and with megadrought, routine reporting becomes disaster headlines. Reporter’s Toolbox gets you to the bottom of the drought data sources that help determine what’s ahead for your region, sorting through the complicated set of federal drought monitoring agencies and resources.
If you’re looking for perspective in your reporting connected with the coronavirus story, it might help to turn to the extensive library of non-fiction books offering insight into disease and epidemics. Our own Bob Wyss offers a helping hand, with a select list of the most useful texts. Plus, links to resource lists for many more, in the latest BookShelf.
SEJournal welcomes back from hiatus our WatchDog feature, now recast as an opinion column from Joseph A. Davis, Society of Environmental Journalists’ veteran freedom of information advocate and longtime SEJournal contributor. In part one of a two-parter, find out why we’re relaunching the new column, plus get Davis’ take on government openness (or lack thereof) around coronavirus, as well as more on SEJ’s deep commitment to open information and a rundown of its recent FOI activities. And watch for part two next week.