New expert background reports of interest to environmental journalists and the public have been published by the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which runs satellites collecting geodata both classified and unclassified, has put up a new Web page with Arctic information. It just went up, and it's as little geeky, but it shows promise for longer-term utility.
Investigative reporting in the environmental area depends on the Freedom of Information Act. The latest exposé on GMO lobbying in the New York Times by double-Pulitzer-winner Eric Lipton is a good example.
You'd think there shouldn't be such a thing as a secret oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this year, the Associated Press uncovered an offshore well in the Gulf that had been leaking for a decade. Now — thanks to a lawsuit from environmentalists — the details will be revealed.
The battleground over transparency on food origins and ingredients is much wider than labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, as journalist Elizabeth Grossman points out in a recent piece in Civil Eats.
The Center for Food Safety has sued the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service under the Freedom of Information Act for withholding information on genetically modified crops (GMOs), after unsuccessfully seeking information over a period of 13 years.
CAMEO is a free and publicly available suite of applications useful to reporters. Developed by the U.S. EPA and NOAA, it includes information about the hazards of various chemicals, as well as map overlays that may show how close a spill site is to the nearest facility of interest, such as a nursery school or retirement home.
A Maryland state judge this month ordered a state agency to give news media routing information about oil trains within Maryland — adding momentum to efforts to warn firefighters and communities about dangers they face. Photo: 2013 Lac Megantic, Quebec, disaster, by Elias Schewel/Flickr.
Abrahm Lustgarten (left) wrote a nine-part series delving into farm subsidies and water policy. But his efforts to get the actual names of farm subsidy recipients or individual water users were largely thwarted. Read how info flows less quickly to the public than money and water flow to farmers in SPJ's FOI blog. Photo credit: Lars Klove.
Federal agencies sometimes wait years to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests, then ask if they are still interested in receiving the requested information. Now the Justice Department's Office of Information Policy has issued an official "guidance" that frowns slightly on overuse of the "still interested?" practice.