FEJ StoryLog

Determined Grantee Weaves Together Unique Project on Ash Trees, Wetlands and Baskets

When the global pandemic interfered with independent journalist Gabriel Popkin’s plans for a grant-funded biodiversity reporting project on the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest threatening ash forests, he came up with a surprising solution. In this FEJ StoryLog, Popkin shares how he worked around travel shutdowns and subsequent story pitch rejections to ultimately discover an alternative storytelling option to keep his project alive.

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Documentary Tells of Human, Environmental Toll of Unexploded Ordnance

A film by reporting duo Jerry Redfern and Karen Coates — supported by a grant from the Society of Environmental Journalists — shows the ongoing human and environmental harm of the unexploded U.S. bombs and other ordnance dropped on Southeast Asian villages during the Vietnam War. “Eternal Harvest,” which builds on their earlier book on the topic, was made painstakingly over years, and in the latest FEJ StoryLog, the couple explains their process and storytelling approach.

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Grants Uncover Downside of Wood Stoves, Water Subsidy Impacts

When a young Ohio-based journalist found her interest piqued by the environmental impacts of wood-burning stoves, she turned — for a second time — to the Fund for Environmental Journalism. Her grant helped her dig deeper and, ultimately, produce a report for Undark. Reporter Diana Kruzman shares her experience with both FEJ-funded projects, along with advice for other grant seekers, in the new StoryLog.

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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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Grantee Suits Up To Ask If Honeybees Harm Native Species

When Colorado-based freelance journalist Jennifer Oldham suited up in protective gear to investigate if commercial honeybee hives on public lands impact native bee populations, as well as to meet with federal scientists and visit a bee study site, it was a Fund for Environmental Journalism grant that helped her do it. Oldham shares her experience and advice in the latest FEJ StoryLog.

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Eating (and Reporting) My Way Through the Foods of the Rainforest

Conserving crop diversity is a key to maintaining global food security, especially in the face of climate change. To understand those efforts, Portland, Ore.-based freelancer Virginia Gewin traveled to South America, supported by a grant from the Society of Environmental Journalists, to find out how Peruvian chefs and Amazon dwellers hope to save the rainforest by sharing native and wild foods.

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Reclaiming Coal Country — Quest for a New Economy in Appalachia 

Longtime energy and environment journalist Elizabeth McGowan traveled to southeast Kentucky to shine a light on efforts to diversify Appalachia’s longtime coal-based economy. In FEJ StoryLog, McGowan shares how her on-the-ground reporting approach, funded in part by the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Fund for Environmental Journalism, yielded not only a powerful story, but insights into overcoming its challenges.

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Uncovering Inequality’s Roots in Timber Poaching

Journalist Lyndsie Bourgon had covered timber poaching in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade when she decided to expand her scope, heading to the Peruvian Amazon to explore old-growth poaching there. In FEJ StoryLog, she shares the ups and downs of that project, made possible in part by a grant from the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Fund for Environmental Journalism.

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Flexibility in the Face of the Unexpected

When a Chicago-based freelancer was just about to hit the road to report a three-part story and TV segment on the potential impacts of two proposed copper mines in the Great Lakes basin, there was a little hitch: The COVID-19 pandemic hit. The new FEJ StoryLog has the story of how Lorraine Boissoneault found the flexibility to complete her grant-supported project.

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Grant Helps Chart Illegal Rosewood’s 10,000-Mile Journey

Two young journalists collaborated from continents apart — with the help of a Society of Environmental Journalists grant — to report on illicit trade in a highly prized timber. A new entry in our recently launched StoryLog column captures the whole process, from the spark of an idea, through research, a winning grant proposal, field reporting and published stories. Plus, lessons learned.

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