“Science is back at EPA,” declared the agency’s new administrator. But for reporters to do their job means more, argues the latest WatchDog — it means ditching a long-standing policy that requires EPA scientists have permission, along with press office “minders,” for interviews. Why that holds back quality journalism and government responsibility to protect public health. Plus, how past agency appointees have overruled science.
The CDC, long a storied agency of serious import not just to health and science reporters, but also to environmental journalists, took a massive hit to its credibility during the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest WatchDog opinion makes the case it can do better, and offers 15 steps that may help restore the federal entity to its gold-standard days.
The push for federal infrastructure legislation may mean money for local water and sewage projects under a long-standing and broadly bipartisan program called WIFIA. The new TipSheet explains how the program works and why the latest developments could spell news for local environmental reporters. Plus, story ideas and reporting resources.
A much-anticipated infrastructure bill in Congress could help address the United States’ poorly rated roads, pipes and powerlines. But could the massive measure also do the heavy lifting for much-needed climate policy? The latest Backgrounder takes a deep dive into the context around climate-friendly infrastructure legislation, and looks ahead on what’s expected and how to report it.
Government suppression of science harms not just journalists, but also the public in its ability to get crucial information and trust in science, not to mention government integrity. So now is the time, asserts the new WatchDog opinion column, for news media to engage intensely over government scientific integrity policies in the making, to be sure that agencies like the EPA get it right.