FEJ StoryLog

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The FEJ StoryLog quarterly column builds on the public service reporting work made possible through the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Fund for Environmental Journalism program. Edited by independent journalist Carolyn Whetzel, the column feature shares how individual FEJ grantees developed their story ideas, pursued their reporting and got their work published, as well as provides lessons learned along the way, or advice for other journalists and grant hopefuls. Read an introduction to the column by Whetzel.

For questions and comments, or to contribute future FEJ StoryLogs, email the SEJournal FEJ StoryLog editor Carolyn Whetzel at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

November 2, 2022

  • 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.

July 27, 2022

  • 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.

April 20, 2022

  • 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.

January 12, 2022

  • 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.

November 10, 2021

  • 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.

September 8, 2021

  • 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.

June 16, 2021

  • 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.

April 14, 2021

  • 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.

February 17, 2021

  • 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.

December 9, 2020

  • The “underworld” of sewage treatment had fascinated one journalist for years. But it was only after winning a reporting grant that Christine Woodside had the luxury of spending dozens of hours to focus on how one old, malfunctioning plant left a local community appalled and angered. Woodside shares the details in the latest installment of SEJournal’s newest column, FEJ StoryLog.

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