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SEJournal is the weekly digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. SEJ members are automatically subscribed. Nonmembers may subscribe using the link below. Send questions, comments, story ideas, articles, news briefs and tips to Editor Adam Glenn at sejournaleditor@sej.org. Or contact Glenn if you're interested in joining the SEJournal volunteer editorial staff.

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February 28, 2024

  • A key U.S. federal agency tasked with investigating the nation’s industrial chemical accidents has been limping along for years. Now, the latest Issue Backgrounder reports that replenished staffing and a funding boost may mean it’s found its footing. But as the pace of chemical accidents accelerates and safety regulations stagnate, will it make a difference?

  • A new book makes the case that U.S. cities have had their environments, their housing and their businesses warped by parking policies. BookShelf contributor Jennifer Weeks, who shares her own parking-related frustrations, explores the arguments made in “Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World,” and also takes a look at what the author sees as “parking-light” solutions.

  • A new Spill Tracker website is a good source of information on chemical spills, albeit one with an agenda. But according to the latest Reporter’s Toolbox, it’s just one among a set of powerful resources for covering dangerous releases, large and small. More on Spill Tracker, plus another half-dozen-plus government and nonprofit data sources on petrochemical incidents.

February 21, 2024

  • When Inside Story co-editor Rocky Kistner reviewed video statements from first-place winners of the Society of Environmental Journalists 2023 reporting awards, he found a series of striking insights into the work of environmental journalism. From environment as a true crime story and going beyond the headlines, to covering communities at risk and through powerful interests, a look at nine highly effective approaches to telling environmental stories.

  • As a follow-on to our recent story about the complex jockeying over a federal anti-terrorism program to prevent high-risk U.S. industrial facilities from becoming targets, the latest TipSheet offers localizable story ideas, along with reporting resources to help you find CFATS facilities in your community. Read more. Plus see the earlier story on why chemical plants, terrorism and regulations may be back on the agenda.

  • Research, collaboration, human-centered storytelling and the ineluctable element of time — all these were among the facets of a complex, award-winning investigative report run by a team of students at Arizona State University on excessive and harmful natural gas flaring. How the project came together, and the lessons learned, in the new EJ Academy from column co-editor and longtime educator Bob Wyss.

February 14, 2024

  • Environmental journalists commonly grouse about obstacles the press office at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency throws up when reporters want to talk to its scientists. Might a newly proposed scientific integrity policy help change that? The WatchDog Opinion column, which regularly joins in the censuring, says there’s a chance it could. But will it? Why the outlook is cloudy.

  • To get a bead on where electric power plants fit in the energy transition, Reporter’s Toolbox suggests a useful dataset collected directly from electricity generators. In this second of two parts, explore the vast array of data available from the Energy Information Administration. Plus, a pro tip on finding data around the climate consequences of power generation.

  • For years, high-risk U.S. industrial facilities fell under a federal anti-terrorism program to ensure their potentially lethal chemicals would not become terrorist targets. But when the program expired last year, something unexpected happened. Veteran chemical industry reporter Jeff Johnson has a behind-the-scenes look at the maneuvering over how best to secure the country’s dangerous chemical stores.

February 7, 2024

  • A relative of mad cow disease is working its way across the population of deer and related cervids in North America. And the latest TipSheet cautions that it remains unclear whether this chronic wasting disease can make the leap to humans, such as millions of deer and elk hunters. What environmental journalists need to know about possible risks and precautions.

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