TipSheet

TipSheet is a biweekly source for story ideas, background, interview leads and reporting tools for journalists who cover news of the environment.


Latest TipSheet Items

May 25, 2022

  • Millions of Americans rely on their own onsite wastewater treatment, commonly known as septic systems. And many of those systems are connected to private wells. But unless they are properly sited, designed, built and maintained, they can contaminate drinking water, bringing dangerous waterborne illnesses. The latest TipSheet explains how to turn this often ignored issue into a local story.

May 11, 2022

  • To better understand troubled bird populations and the many forces undermining them, grab some binoculars and a notebook, and catch up with your local birders, including the burgeoning number of minority birders. That’s the advice from the latest TipSheet, which offers reporting resources and numerous story ideas, including the impacts of climate change, habitat loss, water access and the “insect apocalypse.” 

April 27, 2022

  • An annual list of endangered rivers is out, but with it the journalism just begins, since there are numerous troubled river systems, most likely including one near you. The latest TipSheet details how the endangered river list can serve as a template for local reporting and provides story ideas, questions to ask and resources to tap for your coverage.

April 13, 2022

  • Lead poisoning of U.S. drinking water has been a big headline-grabber in recent years, but there’s an even bigger environmental justice crisis — toxic lead exposure from paint. The latest TipSheet reports that this overlooked school and housing issue is getting new attention, but solving it will be difficult and expensive. Get context, reporting resources and ideas to tackle the story in your community.

March 30, 2022

  • As schools (and many other institutions) around the United States relax mask mandates, questions remain about how they will keep indoor air clean and safe. The latest TipSheet takes a look at the often-underestimated risks of indoor air pollution, as well as well-known practices to clean it up. Get story ideas and resources for reporting on schools in your community.

March 16, 2022

  • It’s perhaps the ultimate local environment story — found right in your audience’s literal backyard. Pollinator gardens offer environmental journalists an opportunity not just to report on ecologically beneficial (and attractive) plantings, but also to tell the complex story of pollinators — butterflies, birds and, of course, bees. The latest TipSheet plants ideas and resources to cover the pollinator garden story.

March 2, 2022

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raises questions about the world energy supply and related environmental consequences (such as pressure to lease U.S. lands for drilling). TipSheet explores the politics — and the reality — of U.S. energy policy in the wake of Ukraine and in the run-up to November’s midterm elections, and asks the question: Do federal policies on pricing really matter?

February 16, 2022

  • Military bases typically have big impacts on surrounding communities, including on resource use and the environment. Now, a new U.S. Army climate strategy makes clear the military understands climate change will affect the bases themselves, with numerous ripple effects. The latest TipSheet outlines how reporters can find local stories on these new realities at bases around the country, including near you.

January 19, 2022

  • As the Society of Environmental Journalists prepares for its annual conference in Houston this March, the SEJournal asked Texas-based reporter Greg Harman to explore the Lone Star State's most critical stories for 2022. Here, in this special Texas-focused TipSheet, are leads, resources, encouragements and challenges.

  • Offshore wind, which some see as a panacea in the search for climate-friendly energy solutions, is getting a push from the Biden administration. But as noted in this week’s TipSheet, part of our 2022 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment, there are numerous obstacles to the renewable power source, whether from states, coastal property owners and towns, fishing industry and even some environmentalists.

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