A good-government advocacy group filed suit July 23, arguing that EPA's June 26 Freedom of Information Act rule had been issued illegally and violated FOIA law. The group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked a federal district court in D.C. to strike down the new EPA rule.
"The Interior Department’s internal ethics watchdog has opened an investigation into whether top Trump appointees at the agency have violated federal open-record laws by withholding or delaying the release of public documents, emails and policy memos."
SEJ joined with several dozen other journalism groups to support the right to film police activity in a public place, and bills to block information of importance to environmental reporters failed in Louisiana, California and Iowa, but a Colorado paper was blocked from covering a wild horse roundup. All that in this month’s WatchDog Tipsheet.
Do we need a bill to criminalize attacks against those who report the news? Some Dems in Congress think so. And the Interior Department is at the center of a conflicts over freedom of information involving lobbying contacts with the newly confirmed secretary. The latest WatchDog has those developments, plus more.
The Society of Environmental Journalists is backing right-to-know lawsuits brought by journalism groups, and a collaborative press freedom tracker gets new funding. Meanwhile, at the Interior Department, one watchdog group angles for environmental impact statements on ANWR drilling, while others track possible conflicts of interest by the acting secretary. That and more in the latest WatchDog roundup.
A scientist contracted to report on climate impacts for the National Park Service was caught up in a fracas over attempted censorship of her findings. Now she’s been fired. That, plus a FOIA case before the Supreme Court and an enviro group sues the Army Corps of Engineers over info on a permit for a new plastics plant in Louisiana. Read the latest on freedom-of-information issues in this month’s WatchDog TipSheet.
Journalism groups, among them the Society of Environmental Journalists, have raised objections to an under-the-radar plan by the Interior Department that would essentially allow it to turn down almost any Freedom of Information Act requests it chose. SEJ filed comments opposing the proposal on Jan. 28. See what rules change Interior has requested and get more on SEJ’s response in the latest WatchDog Tipsheet.
The new year will likely mean subpoenas on EPA’s FOIA response policies, as a Democrat takes the chair in the House Oversight Committee amid charges the agency is choking off politically sensitive record requests. And are new laws in a dozen states making coverage of pipeline protests a felony? That, plus air emission exemptions for animal feedlot operators and data on illegal fishing. All in the latest issue of the WatchDog.
The Society of Environmental Journalists last week objected to the White House suspension of CNN reporter Jim Acosta after a contentious briefing with President Donald Trump and the release of a doctored video of the incident. SEJ joined numerous other journalism groups in fighting what it called unacceptable censorship. Details in this month’s WatchDog TipSheet. Plus, science writers host an “info access summit,” a look at issues around secrecy at the Interior Department and the CNN pipe bomb.
The Society of Environmental Journalists has joined several dozen other journalism groups calling for the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and separately, urged Parks Canada to stop imposing reporting barriers for journalists. That, plus black holes in the calendar for Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, and new data resources for reporters. All in the latest WatchDog Tipsheet.