Backgrounders

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Issue Backgrounders are a monthly SEJournal Online feature to help journalists better cover emerging environmental issues, especially challenging or under-reported topics. Each Issue Backgrounder focuses on a specific environmental topic, offering key questions, basic answers, source contacts and other resources. For questions and comments, or to suggest future Issue Backgrounders, email the SEJournal Online editor at sejournaleditor@sej.org.

 

February 21, 2018

  • Infrastructure is much in the news these days, with battles over politics and funding yielding stories for environment reporters. In play are a Trump plan, who gets to pick projects, who pays and much more. But in an election year, how likely are infrastructure plans to move forward? The backstory, with angles for environment and energy, plus what to watch for in 2018, in our Backgrounder on infrastructure.

January 23, 2018

January 9, 2018

  • The 2018 elections may prove highly consequential for environment and energy policy, possibly slowing or even reversing the Trump-GOP deregulatory agenda. The latest Issue Backgrounder helps reporters frame the choices voters face, including environmental justice and offshore drilling.

December 5, 2017

  • Purges of EPA science panels by Administrator Scott Pruitt are just one among many moves in an ongoing dispute over the integrity of the environmental sciences in government policymaking. The latest Issue Backgrounder takes a deep dive with a briefing on five likely battles ahead for the coming year.

October 31, 2017

  • Pesticides are a big environmental story. And under Trump, they are much in the news. But pesticide regulation, and its political, environmental and public health fallout, is an older and more complex tale. The Backgrounder explains how the rules work (and don't), and provides leads and resources for your reporting.

     

September 26, 2017

September 5, 2017

July 11, 2017

  • Safe drinking water is a long-standing challenge left unmet all across the United States. As our latest Issue Backgrounder explains, telling the story of drinkable water requires digging beneath complex relationships, understanding the sources of drinking water and much more. Here's help to do it.

June 13, 2017

May 23, 2017

  • More stories about lead contamination of drinking water are unfolding around the country, even as the Flint disaster lingers. A new Issue Backgrounder details how lead gets into drinking water, how it leads to health problems among the most prevalent in the United States, and what solutions might address the crisis.

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