June 27, 2012–One starting point to covering agriculture — and the health implications of land and water use — is to follow the money using Environmental Working Group's major database tool. Any reporter covering the ag-environment link should know about it.
May 30, 2012–Claims of trade secrecy — often unsubstantiated — are a huge barrier to environmental reporters and others trying to find the truth about chemicals that may harm human health and the environment. But the FBI's billboards urge Americans to be vigilant against corporate insiders who may appear suspicious, and presumably to turn them in.
May 30, 2012–The federal Data.gov, while not perfect, has grown over three years especially strong in datasets from federal agencies that deal with the environment, energy, natural resources, health, and science. Many of them are downloadable, so that you can crunch them on your own computer. Several are map layers or geo-tagged in some way. See a few randomly chosen examples here.
May 16, 2012–A Chicago Tribune investigative series on flame retardant chemicals helps illustrate how federal agency control of what scientists say to reporters can help the chemical and tobacco industries. By reporter Michael Hawthorne.
April 18, 2012–Reporter Michael Booth's story resurrected the old issue of whether the public has a right to know the identity and source of foods in commerce that government agencies actually know may be causing fatal illness. The FDA refused to comment on the story.
April 15, 2012–Read this excerpt from the Spring issue of SEJournal: Bill Dawson has the inside story on ex-CNN science, environment, weather and technology executive producer Peter Dykstra's return to the journalism fold.
April 4, 2012–EPA's upcoming rulings on confidentiality for data going into the companies' GHG calculations will be important. Those determinations may impact whether companies' reporting is accurate — and whether they can ever be held accountable for their emissions.
January 25, 2012–Most current fracking operations happen on non-federal lands. But on federal lands, things are different — Obama intends to require disclosure of fluids as a condition of new leases for fracking on federal lands. If it takes place, this could push the ingredient lists further into the open.
January 18, 2012–The assessments, expected late January 2012, could have wide-ranging direct and indirect effects in realms such as toxic site cleanups, brownfield development, manufacturing processes, domestic food production and sales, and international trade of food and possibly other goods.
January 12, 2012–It's a common practice, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers even do it when the work is government-funded. Environmental reporters should be asking questions.