The SEJ WatchDog Alert

The WatchDog Alert (formerly WatchDog TipSheet from 2008-2019) was a regular source of story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists in both the United States and Canada.

WatchDog was compiled, edited and written by Joseph A. Davis, who directs the WatchDog Project, an activity of SEJ's Freedom of Information Task Force that reports on secrecy trends and supports reporters' efforts to make better use of FOIA.

Topics on the Beat: 

Latest WatchDog Alert Items

January 2, 2008

December 12, 2007

November 28, 2007

  • The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing Dec. 12, 2007, to air concerns that proposed Interior Department rules requiring fees and permits for photography and sound recording on public lands could limit freedom of the press.

  • The Oct. 18, 2007 issue of Congressional Research Service has published a useful backgrounder on the current lack of a "shield law" protecting reporters from legal penalties, including jail, when they refuse prosecutors' requests to disclose the identities of confidential sources.

  • Even as major companies recalled their shipments of hamburgers made with possibly tainted meat, beef and pork lobbyists worked hard to keep U.S meat eaters from finding out what was going on. They lobbied to amend the Farm Bill to include secrecy language that would make make it illegal for anyone to publicly disclose such information. SEJ and other journalism organization are urging senators to remove that language from the bill.