Great Plains (IA KS ND NE MO SD)

Exposed for Pig Pollution, Nebraska Governor Slimes the Reporter

When the governor of Nebraska personally attacked an investigative reporter who’d covered environmental problems in his family business, it drew a national spotlight and a quick response from free press supporters, including the Society of Environmental Journalists. WatchDog Opinion looks at what happened and observes that politicians’ name-calling of journalists has an unfortunate history — but must never be allowed to stop the truthtelling.

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SEJ Statement on Flatwater Free Press Reporter Yanqi Xu

October 20, 2023 — The Society of Environmental Journalists stands with Flatwater Free Press reporter Yanqi Xu, whose work was dismissed by Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen on the basis of her nationality. In response to Xu’s reporting on high nitrate levels in groundwater on Pillen’s hog farms, the governor said on live radio that he will not read the story because the “author is from Communist China.” Read SEJ's statement.

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Prying Open the Statehouse Doors

Reporting on environmental stories often leads to the state legislature, where key material can be frustratingly hard to access. Whether that’s because the state is deliberately hiding information, has poor systems for sharing it or isn’t even tracking it, there are ways to get what you need. Four seasoned environment reporters offer tips, tricks and commiseration.

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October 12, 2023

Uncovering Radioactive Waste in St. Louis

Investigative Reporters & Editors, at the Missouri School of Journalism, presents this online event. Hear how the Missouri Independent teamed up with MuckRock to show how lingering radioactive waste from the federal government and private companies threatens the health of people in the St. Louis region. 1:30 p.m. ET.


Feds Delay Decision In Dakota Access Pipeline Environmental Review

"The Dakota Access oil pipeline’s future remains uncertain after the Army Corps of Engineers on Friday released a long-awaited draft environmental study that will help determine whether it receives an easement needed to keep operating."

Source: E&E News, 09/11/2023

Reporter Sues Marion Police Chief, Alleging Retaliation In Newsroom Raid

''Police Chief Gideon Cody arrived at the Marion County Record and handed a copy of a search warrant to Deb Gruver, the veteran reporter who had questioned him about alleged misconduct at his previous job."

Source: States Newsroom, 08/31/2023

North American Grassland Birds In Peril, Spurring Effort To Save Habitat

"When Reed Cammack hears the first meadowlark of spring, he knows his family has made it through another cold, snowy winter on the western South Dakota prairie. Nothing’s better, he says, than getting up at sunrise as the birds light up the area with song."

Source: AP, 08/28/2023

Climate Change May Force More Farmers And Ranchers To Costly Irrigation

"The Texas ranch where Gilda Jackson trains and sells horses has been plagued by grasshoppers this year, a problem that only gets worse when the hatch quickens in times of heat and drought."

Source: AP, 08/24/2023

"Raid of Small Kansas Newspaper Raises Free Press Concerns"

"A small town in Kansas has become a battleground over the First Amendment, after the local police force and county sheriff’s deputies raided the office of The Marion County Record." "The search of Marion County Record’s office led to the seizure of computers, servers and cellphones of reporters and editors."

Source: NYTimes, 08/14/2023


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