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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 21, 2024

  • 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.

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.

January 24, 2024

  • Nothing may seem more personal than a home flooded by heavy rains. But the latest TipSheet points out that for local environmental reporters, there’s a bigger story to be told: how your community regulates stormwater and storm sewers, especially in the face of climate change-driven extreme precipitation. More than a dozen reporting ideas and resources.

January 10, 2024

  • Health and environmental concerns about some beauty items — like the use of formaldehyde in certain hair straighteners — have started to emerge as a focus for federal regulation. But as the latest TipSheet points out, the response has been slow and fitful. Meanwhile, here are story ideas and resources to help reporters find local angles for this environmental and public health hazard.

December 20, 2023

  • The connection between global warming and human health is worrying many public health experts, as some climate change-induced ecological shifts have worsened the potential spread of infectious diseases, including in North America. The latest TipSheet takes a closer look at a half-dozen climate-related diseases that environmental journalists might watch for local and regional stories. Plus, resources to report on the issue.

December 6, 2023

  • If a remedy for global environmental woes is needed, look no farther than the feathered creatures that flit colorfully about the local winter landscape, drawn by feeders multiplied by the lockdown. The new TipSheet explores how backyard birding offers opportunities for how-to or why-to stories that can offer deeper ecological insights. Ten story ideas and a half-dozen resources to get you started.

November 22, 2023

  • Wetlands provide a wide array of ecological and societal benefits. But in the United States, they also represent a morass of conflicting views going back decades on how best to regulate them. Now a recent Supreme Court ruling and proposed federal rules are the source of new discord. The latest TipSheet explores how best to cover the wetlands controversy for your community.

November 8, 2023

  • The mining of the ocean floor has stirred up significant debate, much of which clouds the realities of whether and to what degree it would cause ecological harm to one of the world’s greatest resources. This week’s TipSheet looks more closely at the controversy, which may well come to a head in the coming year. The latest entry in SEJournal’s 2024 Journalists’ Guide to Environment and Energy.

October 25, 2023

October 11, 2023

  • In the first of a two-parter for our 2024 Journalists’ Guide to Environment & Energy, TipSheet looks at what climate-driven disasters mean for the home insurance market. Storms, floods and fire rip through communities, yet a federal insurance program falls short, lawmakers shy away from real reform and insurers grow hesitant to cover the risks, while homeowners often attempt to rebuild in the same problematic locales. Plus, see part two on extreme weather and insurance.

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