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SEJournal Online is the weekly digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ members are automatically subscribed. Non-members may subscribe using the link below. Meanwhile, learn more about SEJournal Online. And send questions, comments, story ideas, articles, news briefs and tips to Editor Adam Glenn at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

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September 16, 2020

  • A Trump administration push to allow trains to carry liquified natural gas raises larger concerns about allowing hazardous materials to be carried around the United States by rail, per the latest TipSheet. Get the latest on the LNG transport plan, along with the backstory about the risks of numerous other rail hazmat, plus story ideas and reporting resources.

  • Bird brains, despite the dictum, are anything but deficient. In fact, a new book by science and nature writer Jennifer Ackerman reveals how scientists, driven by rising diversity in their own ranks and by the leverage of new technologies, are gaining a dramatically new understanding of the complexities of bird behavior. BookShelf has a review of “The Bird Way.”

September 9, 2020

  • A key Democratic primary win in Massachusetts last week appears to portend a weather change in climate politics, with youth groups helping propel the issue into November’s polling places. Reporter’s Toolbox helps environmental journalists cover the shift by cataloging some of the biggest youth climate activist groups with local chapters and large geographic reach.

  • It took teams of journalists to produce an award-winning series of reports digging into environment and climate health effects of massive oil and natural gas production in the Southwestern United States. Our latest Inside Story talks with Jamie Smith Hopkins of the Center for Public Integrity about the benefits of reporting a big story jointly and the project’s sometimes surprising findings.

  • In these downside-up days of contagion, climate disasters and social convulsions, being a journalism educator presents some seriously serious challenges. But in this EJ Academy back-to-school guide, pedagogical pilot Bernardo Motta offers seven tips to manage the mess. Among the advice: You are not an island. And everything will fail … and that’s a good thing.

August 26, 2020

  • Efforts to bury pandemic data is a story environmental journalists best keep an eye on, argues the new WatchDog opinion column. That’s partly because of the connection between the novel coronavirus and climate change, air pollution and environmental justice. But also because it echoes a deepening rejection of science that’s long been part of the environment beat. 

  • They’ve long been a staple of the news business. But now, with the pandemic continuing to keep journalists from their subjects, remote video interviews have become an essential tool. And even newbie video reporters can quickly learn the basics. Science video producer Eli Kintisch shares a quick eight-step remote video setup and some simple tricks of the trade, in this SEJournal how-to.

  • Ammonium nitrate, the explosive agricultural fertilizer that blew up in Lebanon this month,  killing dozens and severely damaging Beirut’s center, is stored by the thousands of tons all over the United States. But regulatory blindspots and secretive information policies mean few know exactly where. Backgrounder reviews the chemical’s oversight regime — and its gaps — and has ideas for reporting from your community.

August 12, 2020

  • As Democratic and Republican parties plan their nominating conventions beginning next week amid a pandemic and a recession, it’s instructive to examine the state of thinking about a “green recovery.”  Backgrounder looks at the politicking and policies behind the notion that a massive clean energy plan could be good not just for addressing climate change, but also the economy.

  • With little (and big) fires just about everywhere these days, reporters could use help tracking the myriad blazes. Fortunately, firefighting experts have developed some handy databases that journalists can tap into to better cover this story. Plus, other kinds of data tools to keep on top of fire hazards. And SEJ’s new “Issue: Wildfire” resource page, which includes wildfire headlines from EJToday and more wildfire stories from SEJournal.

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