Journalism & Media

"Details About Crude Oil Rail Shipments Shrouded in Secrecy"

"Trains carrying a potentially more flammable crude oil have begun rolling with little notice through Sacramento and California in the last year, prompting concerns about safety and calls for more transparency, but state officials said Friday they have decided for now not to release information to the public on where those trains run or how many there are."

Source: Sacramento Bee, 06/17/2014

"Who Gets A Press Pass?" Report Explores Media Access

Experienced journalists know that a press credential is often critical to gaining physical or virtual access to news events and information. It's an aspect of information access rarely covered by the news media themselves. A new report from the Digital Media Law Project at Harvard looks systematically at who gets a press card and who does not.

When Is a Policy Not a Policy? When Reporters Want To Talk to EPA Staff

For some years now, under multiple administrations, journalists who have called EPA scientists and other experts asking to talk to them about matters large and small have almost universally been told something like, "I'm not allowed to talk to news media without Press Office permission." Yet EPA officials maintain they do not have a press policy. SEJ's WatchDog filed June 10, 2014 the first of what will be an ongoing series of FOIA requests to get to the bottom of this ironic situation.

SEJ Objects to EPA "No Attribution" Presser on Carbon Rule

SEJ objected strenuously last week to  the ground rules for a telephone press briefing on U.S. EPA's carbon emissions rule for existing power plants. In a June 5, 2014, letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the Society of Environmental Journalists objected to the "truncated, anonymous 'background' tele-briefing for news media" held on the June 2 roll-out day. The text of EPA's June 10 response to SEJ's letter is here.

"U.S. Judge Orders ExxonMobil Produce Documents on Arkansas Spill"

"A U.S. federal judge has denied ExxonMobil Corp's bid to dismiss a government lawsuit and instead ordered the oil giant to hand over documents going back decades on a pipeline that ruptured last year and inundated an Arkansas town with oil."

Source: Reuters, 06/11/2014
June 20, 2014

DEADLINE: Online News Association's Online Journalism Awards

This annual awards competition honors excellence in Web journalism, especially those demonstrating mastery of the special characteristics and emerging technology of digital journalism. Categories include data journalism, visual digital storytelling, investigative journalism, public service, technical innovation and general excellence. Cash prizes. Enter by June 20, 2014.

June 18, 2014

DC-area Happy Hour for SEJers, DC Science Writers, and Friends

Meet people and have fun on the rooftop of a comfortable and informal rooftop bar (with its own roof in case of rain). All welcome: SEJ members, science and environmental journalists, and those interested in meeting them, their partners and pals. This event is co-hosted by the esteemed DC Science Writers Association (DCSWA, pronounced "Duck-Schwa.") Eat, drink, be merry, meet colleagues and sources, conspire, circulate rumors, or complain about your editor.

Happy hour begins Wednesday, June 18, at 6:30 pm. Happy hour pricing runs until 9 pm.

SEJ Objects to EPA "No Attribution" Presser

The Society of Environmental Journalists has objected to the Environmental Protection Agency's "no attribution" ground rule for a press teleconference that was part of its June 2, 2014, roll-out of its carbon emissions rule for existing power plants. The background briefing — which supplemented Administrator Gina McCarthy's on-record statement — made questions difficult on this complex rule. The text of SEJ's June 6 letter to McCarthy is here. The text of EPA's June 10 response to SEJ's letter is here.

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