20 Things We Love About SEJ


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The issues that SEJ members cover are some of the most compelling, challenging and important issues our world has ever faced.


Reporting on these issues has always been one of the hardest jobs in journalism. That’s why SEJ was founded more than 20 years ago — to help provide the resources, context and community that beat reporters and others engaging with these issues needed to report the news accurately, fairly and deeply.

But these days the tough economy, the 24-hour news cycle and the erosion of traditional journalism values mean doing quality environmental journalism is more challenging than ever.

That’s why SEJ is more important than ever. And why your support for SEJ is more crucial than ever.

Please join your colleagues: give here and have your name added to our list of sweethearts.

So without further ado, let us introduce to you the complete roster of "20 Things We Love About SEJ" gathered from our archives of surveys, correspondence and reports:

20 Things We Love About SEJ

  1. A big umbrella – SEJ is relevant to everyone, whether you are an environmental reporter, a health reporter, a business reporter or cover another beat entirely; whether you work in print, broadcast or web-based media; whether you are a poet or a book author interested in critically exploring the most-pressing issue of our time.
  2. Collaborative community – No matter if you’re a fulltime reporter in the newsroom or a freelancer pounding the pavement for the next big story lead, if you've been to an SEJ conference or actively participated on our listservs, you know how incredibly willing fellow SEJers are to help each other.
  3. Credibility and integrity – We take our mission “to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism across all media to advance public understanding of environmental issues” seriously.
  4. Networking – Connect with peers and colleagues on the ground and online and learn from leading reporters around the country; share tips, story ideas and editors’ phone numbers with other freelancers. Networking has consistently received high member ranking as a major SEJ perk.
  5. Exposure to experts in the field – SEJ events offer members opportunities to rub elbows with a wide range of top scientists, academics, government officials, policymakers and industry leaders making current headlines.
  6. Mentorship program – SEJ members have the opportunity to learn the ropes from the best and brightest in the business, from Pulitzer Prize winners covering key environmental issues to children’s book authors teaching kids about stewardship.
  7. Professional training – Pre-conference workshops covering a host of topics from computer-assisted reporting to web-based video production, and post-conference tours taking a more in-depth look at the places we visit, offer just a few examples of opportunities to develop reporting and critical-thinking skills within our organization.
  8. Ongoing and special publications – SEJournal keeps you connected to other members’ work and offers tips and insights for honing your craft. Our Climate Change Guide offers a great example of how SEJ provides you with the necessary tools to do your job better.
  9. Pioneers and trailblazers – Our members are often way out front, tackling topics such as global warming and sounding the first warning bells about looming disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
  10. Objectivity, integrity and fairness – SEJ reflects the values of good journalism and has a reputation for such. Our resources are timely, reliable and relevant, and they help reporters do a better job.
  11. Connecting the dots – SEJ helps reporters in a wide variety of beats understand key environmental connections to their work.
  12. Depth and vitality of information – SEJ is well known for its breadth of knowledge and resources and for supporting excellence in reporting.
  13. Opportunities for students – SEJ offers membership and conference discounts to registered college students and tailors many of its programs and workshops to tomorrow’s environmental journalists.
  14. Peer-judged awards – SEJ sponsors its own annual contest to honor the year's best environmental journalism in newspapers, magazines and newsletters and on television, radio and the Internet, and sponsors other awards and fellowships for reporting on environment-related topics.
  15. TipSheet – SEJ serves up a biweekly helping of environmental story ideas complete with source suggestions.
  16. SEJ Website – Our robust website recently underwent a redesign based on your feedback and provides a gateway to many of the perks listed above and below and more – such as SEJ initiatives, environmental events calendar, library and membership directory.
  17. Job postings – find out about current environmental journalism jobs via the SEJ-Mail email listserv (only one of many listservs hosted by SEJ to help working journalists), and through links to other journalism job sites on our Journalism Jobs webpage.
  18. EJToday – Enjoy SEJ’s selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat.
  19. WatchDog TipSheet – Search the archives of biweekly WatchDog's story ideas, articles, updates, events and other information with a focus on freedom-of-information issues of concern to environmental journalists.
  20. SEJournal – Each issue of SEJ’s quarterly newsletter includes in-depth stories on hot topics on the environment beat; regular features such as Inside Story (interviews with and insights of journalists of winning work); Bits & Bytes and Reporter's Toolbox (practical, technical how-to's, from choosing a recorder to using Excel to photography); Research Roundup; Science Survey; Media on the Move; SEJ President's Report; E-Reporting Biz; Book Shelf (environmental book reviews) and The Beat (latest news trends from various media).

Now that you recall all the things you love about SEJ, tell a friend or two. If you're not a member, consider joining us.

— Please donate now (and we'll still add your name to our timeless Sweethearts List):

You might have heard something about February 14, 1990 being SEJ’s official birthday and 2010 – 2011 being SEJ’s 20th Anniversary year. It's all true, and plenty of people helped us to celebrate.

From the day that SEJ's 20th Anniversary fundraising campaign was first announced in January of 2010 through the end of February 2011, a total of 341 individual donors contributed $36,976 to help support the organization and its future. $26,996 came in as general support for SEJ Programs. $5,891 was designated by donors for SEJ’s 21st Century Endowment fund. And $4,089 was contributed to the Fund for Environmental Journalism, our mini-grants program to support specific reporting projects through a competitive process.

Gifts ranged in size from $5 to $2,500. To each and every one of our Sweethearts, thanks for helping SEJ to serve an important mission: credible and robust journalism that informs and engages society on environmental issues.