Sunshine Week is a great opportunity for journalists to do the most important part of the job: spotlighting the very news that government officials are uncomfortable about disclosing. The website includes examples of good freedom-of-information stories, permission-free cartoons, logos and icons, and many all-purpose story ideas.
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In this issue: Superstorm Sandy's hidden warning; analysis of pivotal enviro issues to watch; new frontiers in visual journalism; keeping up on chemical databases; members helping members: SEJ's mentoring program; media on the move; and book reviews.SEJ Publication Types:
Should state freedom-of-information laws disqualify people or organizations from out of state from getting government records? Led by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, some 53 news media groups have urged the US Supreme Court to say no.
Too often stories fail to disclose such industry ties, which might call into question the experts' objectivity. The Checks and Balances Project, an energy watchdog group, did an analysis of coverage in 60 publications over a five-year period with very interesting results.
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A fatal November 30, 2012, collapse of part of a coal-slurry impoundment in West Virginia served as a reminder of safety issues that may not be adequately regulated in some states and localities. You can locate local coal-slurry impoundments and information on their status with an online public database.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was joined by the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter in a suit to unseal records of the July 2011 settlement of a case in which a family had sued four natural gas companies over damages they claimed were caused by hydraulic fracturing. The appeals court said a lower court had erred in throwing out the newspapers' case.