TipSheet

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

For questions and comments, or to suggest future TipSheets, email the TipSheet Editor Joseph A. Davis at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

Journalists can receive TipSheet free by subscribing to the SEJournal Online, the digital news magazine of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. TipSheet is also available through the searchable archive below and via RSS feed.


Latest TipSheet Items

February 1, 2023

  • 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 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.

January 4, 2023

  • Even as national governments scramble to address climate change, including with a new global summit planned for next fall, environmental journalists may find that action (or inaction) by state and local governments will yield an abundance of climate stories in the year ahead. The latest TipSheet offers numerous questions to ask, story ideas and resources to mine for local climate reporting.

December 7, 2022

  • While carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most often in the news, methane has greater warming power and accounts for a big chunk of the current increase in global warming. Now, growing regulatory pressure may help shift that focus and could drive more local environmental reporting, per the latest TipSheet. The backstory, plus reporting ideas and resources.

November 23, 2022

  • Obama-era regulation of the toxic waste product coal ash, which was watered down in the face of resistance from coal and electric utilities and further weakened by the Trump administration, has meant many coal-fired power plants simply ignore disposal requirements. That’s per a new report that the latest TipSheet writes can offer journalists useful ways to report an overlooked environmental story in their area.

November 16, 2022

  • The increased frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation presents environmental reporters with challenging coverage of flooding, property damage, insurance shortfalls and risk to human life, as well as about the climate change driving the downpours. The latest TipSheet offers context, story ideas and resources to cover such big storms in your area.

November 2, 2022

  • While a global gathering on biodiversity this winter will be news in itself, enterprising reporters can also find many biodiversity stories in their own backyards. The latest TipSheet offers insight into the domestic U.S. battle over endangered species, with a tale of a Tennessee dam, and a better understanding of the biodiversity-habitat connection. Plus, story ideas and reporting resources.

October 19, 2022

  • Lead kills. With hunting and fishing seasons underway, lead ammo and tackle put a known neurotoxin into the ecosystem. And that renews a long-standing controversy, with a tug of war over rules limiting lead at the local and federal levels. The latest TipSheet examines why it matters to vulnerable species, like the bald eagle, as well as to humans. Plus, local story ideas and resources.

October 5, 2022

  • For the first time in years, the United States has ratified a climate change-related treaty — one that phases out HFCs, the greenhouse gas widely used as a refrigerant. That leaves environmental reporters to report how the change will affect everyday objects like ACs, refrigerators and cars. TipSheet has the backstory on the Kigali Amendment, along with story ideas and reporting resources.

September 21, 2022

  • A Biden administration move to force states to submit cleanup plans for regional haze offers opportunities to report air pollution news in your area, writes the latest TipSheet. The Clean Air Act regulatory program, focused on parks and wilderness areas, is not just about the scenery, but human health too. The backstory and the list of states, plus reporting resources and story ideas.

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