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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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February 1, 2023

  • When the Trump-era Environmental Protection Agency changed regulations governing freedom of information requests, journalists worried they were making it easier for political appointees to interfere with disclosures. Now the Biden administration is proposing a rules revision. But, as the latest WatchDog Opinion argues, it’s missing an opportunity to rid the regime of those critical flaws.

  • Nearly two-thirds of the world’s rivers are impeded by dams and we keep building them in our quest for cleaner and greener sources of electricity. But as podcast producer Farha Akhtar learned while producing a recent episode, these monumental structures are having a profound impact on our planet and catastrophic consequences for many Indigenous people.

  • Iconic critters like salmon, orca and wolves. Climate controversies like natural gas greenwashing and carbon auctions. And wildfire fallout like “smoke-a-geddon.” These are just some of the wide array of stories worth covering as environmental journalists scan Cascadia, the huge area encompassing Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and stretching from Alaska to Utah. This special TipSheet, part of our 2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment, outlines top issues in the region, offering insights, resources and story angles.

January 25, 2023

  • When the global pandemic interfered with independent journalist Gabriel Popkin’s plans for a grant-funded biodiversity reporting project on the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest threatening ash forests, he came up with a surprising solution. In this FEJ StoryLog, Popkin shares how he worked around travel shutdowns and subsequent story pitch rejections to ultimately discover an alternative storytelling option to keep his project alive.

  • Findings from scientific research provide many a news lead on the environment beat, and even reporters not closely attuned to the world of scientific journals can use them to find stories. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox offers up one key: indexes. They can guide you to abstracts and free versions of otherwise costly publications. A list of indexes to try. Plus, a half-dozen other pro tips.

January 18, 2023

  • Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set in motion a long-overdue requirement to update a key Clean Air Act rule involving fine particulate air pollution, or PM 2.5. The latest TipSheet reviews PM 2.5’s health harms and its checkered regulatory history, while offering story ideas and key resources on how to tell the story locally.

  • SEJournal looks ahead to key issues in the coming year with this “2023 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment” special report.​ Check out the guide’s various TipSheets and Backgrounders, and stay tuned in coming weeks for more, including an overview analysis, as well as a special look at environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Prolific author-environmentalist Dave Dempsey’s new book, “Half Wild: People, Dogs, and Environmental Policy,” examines the complex boundaries between humans, wildlife and wilderness in a brief volume that includes vignettes of bears scouring trash heaps and of bourbon-fueled debates over the gap between conservationists and environmentalists. Not to mention bonus observations about his relationship with dogs. Contributor Gary Wilson has a review for our latest BookShelf.

  • The complex legal obstacles that face U.S. energy projects prompted political machinations over permitting reform in the last Congress and likely will again in the new one. The latest Backgrounder explores how the energy permitting system works (or doesn’t), why Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin may really be pushing for its reform and the reason some environmentalists concede reform may have green benefits.

January 11, 2023

  • Water has always been a precious commodity in the western states. Now, with rapid population growth and a drying climate, the way this resource is shared and distributed is becoming more contentious across the region. Freelance journalist Jennifer Oldham talks about the tensions between supply and demand and how to drill down into water rights laws and policies.

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