The Interior Department is responding to allegations of corruption and political interference with wildlife law enforcement by clamming up.
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a conservationist group that litigates wildlife-protection issues, has filed suit challenging Interior Department secrecy on a political scandal.
Some new, sharper tools are available for reporters who want to investigate patterns of federal spending or specific cases of interest.
Henry Waxman (D-CA), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has vowed to investigate EPA's decision to prohibit states from regulating greenhouse emissions.
EPA has proposed exempting farms from a law protecting the public from toxic air pollutants. Environmental groups have objected.
The Senate passed a five-year Farm Bill Dec. 14, 2007, that softened a provision imposing draconian penalties for publication of information from a federal database for tracking food animals.
President Bush has signed into law a measure aimed at strengthening the Freedom of Information Act.
Feeling discouraged about the erosion of journalists' traditional role as watchdogs? Lighten up with the Spring 2008 issue of Nieman Reports, published by the foundation at Harvard University. Titled "21st Century Muckrakers: Who Are They? How Do They Do Their Work?" the issue includes nearly 50 articles chronicling the "Muckraker" tradition of American investigative journalism and documenting that muckraking is alive and well, even in today's digital age.
Hundreds of EPA scientists are complaining that they are being pressured by political appointees who run EPA to alter their scientific findings to support the administration's deregulatory agenda, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
House and Senate conferees have dropped from the 2007 Farm Bill language that would keep secret the names and addresses of feedlot operators. Faced with recent defeats in both Congress and the courts, the USDA and meat industry, both of whom seem determined to keep such information secret, may be shifting their strategy to trying to accomplish the same result by using Privacy Act regulations.