Inside Story

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Inside Story is a regular question-and-answer feature of SEJournal Online in which we hear from award-winning journalists about the behind-the-scenes practices, ideas and breakthroughs that led to their best work, and their advice to other journalists about how to excel. For questions and comments, or to suggest future Inside Story features, email SEJournal Online Inside Story Q&A editor Beth Daley at bdaley522@gmail.com.

October 9, 2019

  • A deeply documented investigation revealed serious problems in Illinois’ aging nuclear power plants, and won reporters Brett Chase and Madison Hopkins an outstanding small market investigative reporting award from the Society of Environmental Journalists last year. Chase spoke with SEJournal Online’s “Inside Story” about the “Power Struggle” project, about lessons learned and advice for other reporters. Read the Q&A.

August 7, 2019

  • The latest Inside Story column takes a look at how one reporter turned a series of complex policy stories on renewable energy and pollution into an accessible, localized narrative — and in the process won a Society of Environmental Journalists’ explanatory reporting award. A Q&A about the project with Baltimore Sun’s Scott Dance.

June 12, 2019

  • A lengthy investigation yielded one small-market environmental reporting team an award-winning project examining the adequacy of a toxic solvent cleanup in a polluted community. Our latest “Inside Story” talks with a team member behind the project to learn about the challenges, the lessons learned and advice for others tracking similar problems.

April 17, 2019

  • The tale of a failing nation’s climate woes is revealed in a cache of scientific notes hidden in a London attic after their author goes missing. The gripping mystery was unraveled with award-winning skill by journalist Laura Heaton, in our latest “Inside Story” Q&A. Read on and find out the story’s significance for climate adaptation.

February 6, 2019

  • Small market environmental beat reporting can shine a light on serious issues that affect local residents, and Texas Observer’s Christopher Collins does that with a passion. That’s the word from judges for the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual reporting awards, who recently honored Collins for his work, citing his mix of hard-hitting info and interesting characters. In the latest Inside Story, Collins shares how he gets his story ideas, overcomes challenges and focuses on how issues affect real individuals.

November 28, 2018

  • A freelancer’s coverage of the international wildlife trade won one of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ top journalism awards this year for its combination of “fearless reporting and graceful writing.” SEJournal Online talks with award-winner Rachel Nuwer about the series, the benefits of field reporting and the project’s challenges, such as securing funding, all in the latest Inside Story Q&A. And good news for Inside Story fans — the quarterly feature is now upping its frequency to bi-monthly!

September 12, 2018

  • An unexpected story, a never-before-seen photo — those are ingredients for the kinds of environment and climate story ideas that won one environment reporter top honors in large market beat reporting in SEJ’s annual awards last year. A conversation with Craig Welch of National Geographic for our latest Inside Story Q&A.

June 13, 2018

May 2, 2018

  • A local beat reporter with an unusual background seeks hidden corners of local environmental policy and is rewarded with top honors for her work. An interview with Texas Observer reporter Naveena Sadasivam about her learning curve, her award-winning reporting and what she thinks the profession must do to build its future. The latest “Inside Story.”

February 14, 2018

  • After an EPA Superfund settlement was rebuffed by a small town, a local environmental advocate goes to jail while executives behind a chemical plant contamination remain free. In the latest Q&A for our Inside Story column, we hear from investigative reporter Sharon Lerner of The Intercept about the complex challenges of telling this award-winning tale.

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