WatchDog TipSheet

SEJ, SPJ Urge EPA, CDC to End Press Office Obstacles in Public Health Crises

Reporters scrambling to inform the 300,000 citizens of Charleston, West Virginia, about why they could not drink their tap water, what health threats it presented, and who was responsible faced a stone wall from most of the responsible government agencies in the early days of the crisis.

Secret CRS Reports on Environment Published

Taxpayers' money funds the Congressional Research Service as it produces objective and authoritative reports on issues facing Congress — many on subjects of interest to environmental journalists. Congress, however, does not share these reports with the public who paid for them. Thanks to the Project on Government Secrecy, another batch of the reports has been leaked and published.

J-Groups Challenge Utah Ag-Gag Law on First Amendment Grounds

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and 16 other journalism organizations, including the publishers of two major Utah newspapers, filed a friend-of-the-court brief December 10, 2013, arguing that Utah's ag-gag law infringes on constitutionally protected newsgathering rights.

White House Secrecy Helps Politics Subvert Environmental Health at OMB

It's true. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) helps well-heeled industry lobbyists thwart rules to protect public safety and health. Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin proves it with documents and insider interviews showing how election politics trumped open government, regulatory law, and public health in the run-up to the 2012 election.

Spying on Environmental Journos No Longer Just Paranoid Fantasy

Industry groups and government agencies are outsourcing the job of spying confidentially on environmental journalists to firms that hire former NSA, CIA, and FBI investigators. You are not supposed to know this. For example, Wikileaks recently released documentation on for-hire intelligence agency Stratfor's spying on award-winning ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten.

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